Man in motorized wheelchair hit, killed


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A 77-year-old man died after being hit by a pickup truck as he tried to cross a busy Wyoming street in his motorized wheelchair.

It happened in the 1500 block of 44th Street just west of Burlingame Avenue SW just before 5 p.m.

A crash at 44th Street near Burlingame Avenue SW. (July 2, 2014)A black pickup truck turned out of a strip mall parking lot onto westbound 44th Street, running over Norman “Loyd” Vaughn as he tried to cross the street.

“The driver of the black pick up truck was making a right hand turn off of this access drive and struck the electric wheelchair,” Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody said on the scene. “The victim in the wheelchair was dragged for a short distance.”

Witness John Dykstra was heading home on 44th Street when he noticed something in the westbound lanes.

“At the time, it looked like a bag of garbage fallen off of his truck,” he said.

He then realized it was a man in a wheelchair.

“It was really, really a horrible thing to watch happen. Not only because he was a senior citizen, but to watch anybody get rolled over like that was really rough,” Dykstra said.

Despite efforts to save him, Vaughn died at the scene.

Police interviewed and then released the driver of the truck.

“How he couldn’t hear the guy hitting against his truck is beyond me,” Dykstra said.

Authorities are expected to say next week whether the driver will face charges.

The westbound lanes of 44th Street were shut down at Burlingame Avenue SW for a time due to the wreck and westbound traffic was backed as far as US-131.

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