Golf cart driver killed in wreck in Hastings

The scene of a fatal golf cart wreck on M-43 in Hastings. (July 10, 2014)
The scene of a fatal golf cart wreck on M-43 in Hastings. (July 10, 2014)

HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man behind the wheel of a golf cart was killed after he was hit by a car near the Hastings Country Club Thursday morning.

The 9 a.m. crash shut down both directions of M-43, also known as Broadway Street, between Woodlawn Avenue and Calgary Drive in Hastings for hours. It reopened just before noon.

Authorities said the 90-year-old man, identified as Richard A. Beduhn, was driving the golf cart on M-43 outside of the entrance to the country club when the wreck happened.

Bedhun was pronounced dead at the scene.

Several friends at the country club told 24 Hour News 8 that Beduhn played a game at the club every Thursday morning, which is likely where he was headed at the time of the crash.

Friends also said the World War II veteran, known as Dick to his friends, had macular degeneration of the eyes and had a difficult time seeing.

The driver of the northbound vehicle was identified as a 73-year-old Hastings man, according to Hastings Police Chief Jeff Pratt. That man did not suffer major injuries, Pratt said, and was allowed to leave.

Pratt would not comment on whether Bedhun was crossing M-43 legally at the time of the crash. He did say that neither alcohol nor speed appeared to be a factor.

Bedhun was a member of the Hastings post of the American Legion for years, and was also the retired manager of the Hastings Savings and Loan.

Bedhun used to go to the Legion post every Tuesday, waitress Leslie Carpenter said.

“They were referred to as the ROMEOS,” said Carpenter.  “They gave the name to themselves. It was Retired Old Men Eating Out.”

She said she thinks this Tuesday’s gathering will be a much more somber one.

“It’s very sad, you know. They come in so often, all our regulars, they become like part of the family,” said Carpenter.

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