Michael Shane Marlow, who was driving the cart, and his son, Bentley Marlowe, were killed at the scene
A North Carolina father and son riding in a golf cart together were killed by a suspected impaired driver Monday night in a collision that critically injured four other passengers in the cart, authorities say.
According to the Associated Press, citing the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the crash occurred near Statesville when a Honda Accord crossed the center line of a road and hit the golf cart, which was going in the opposite direction.
Michael Shane Marlow, 39, who was driving the cart, and his son, 5-year-old Bentley Marlowe, were killed at the scene, troopers said. Four other golf cart passengers, ages 2, 13, 16, and 26, were hospitalized, troopers said, according to WBTV.
The driver of the Honda, Austin Ray Harmon, 23, has been charged with driving while impaired, two counts of felony death by vehicle and three counts of felony serious injury by vehicle.
According to jail records, Harmon is currently being held at the Iredell County Detention Facility, and WCNC reports his bond is $250,000. It was not immediately clear if he had retained a lawyer or entered a plea.
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WBTV reports that Trooper Jeffrey Swagger of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said, “Golf carts are a popular pastime for folks to get out and enjoy their neighborhoods and community, but they can be dangerous when golf carts and cars occupy the same space.”
According to WSOC, Michael Marlow was the owner of B & B Auto Glass and Mirrors in Statesville.
Family friend J.R. White told the outlet, “I had my car fixed a couple times down there and didn’t have the money and Mike helped me out. Just a good person to know.”
A Tuesday post on the Facebook page of First Presbyterian Church of Statesville, which operated a preschool that Bentley attended, reads, “Bentley was the gentlest, kindest kid. He was one of the nearly thirty shining lights I got to see each Wednesday for Chapel. His infectious smile truly did brighten our lives. He was so smart, so kind. He was so loved and remains so loved.”
A GoFundMe page has been established to help with the injured victims’ medical expenses.