Drama for Obama as child's injury delays golf game

KAILUA, Hawaii Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:03pm EST

1 of 4. Security block the street where U.S. President Barack Obama is staying on vacation in Kailua, Hawaii, December 28, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

KAILUA, Hawaii (Reuters) - Vacationing President Barack Obama interrupted a golf game on Monday and sped back to his holiday house after the child of friends was hurt in a beach accident.

Obama, on vacation in the island state where he grew up, raced home in his motorcade in a bit of high drama shortly after arriving at a lush golf course for an afternoon game.

The child, identified by the White House as the son of Obama's friends Eric and Cheryl Whitaker, is now well and did not require stitches as first suggested, an official said.

"Eric and Cheryl Whitaker's son was examined and released from the hospital. He is home playing with his friends and just fine," said White House spokesman Bill Burton.

Eric Whitaker had been in the president's golfing party when word reached them that the boy had been injured. An ambulance with flashing lights sped past a van of reporters near the family compound after the president's arrival.

The ambulance later drove off with lights still flashing and Obama returned to the golf course to play.

There were no details on what happened to the child but an administration official described it earlier as a "run of the mill beach injury."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott)

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