Authorities: Man in wheelchair hit by car, killed

Ottawa County

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An 81-year-old man died Sunday when his wheelchair was hit by a vehicle in Allendale.

It happened shortly before 3 p.m. on 68th Avenue near Scott Street, north of Lake Michigan Drive.

An Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office sergeant on the scene said that the man was crossing the street in his motorized wheelchair, likely to visit relatives nearby, when he was hit by a southbound vehicle.

Monday, the sheriff’s office identified the victim as 81-year-old Donald Reister of Allendale.

The sergeant said the driver, a 25-year-old from Grand Rapids, tried to avoid a crash, slamming on the brakes and veering, but couldn’t.

“We believe that she was not on her phone. There was no indication of alcohol. Speed does not, at this point, appear to be a factor,” Sgt. Robert Ruster said. “There was three witnesses to this fatal crash and all three witnesses are consistent that they do not think that the young driver was driving too fast and she did everything she could to avoid the crash.”

Ruster added that the victim did check at least once for oncoming traffic, but it’s believed he didn’t see the car.

“It is very tragic, obviously, for the family of the deceased and also for a very tragic incident for the driver,” he said.

***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Donald Reister’s last name. We regret this error, which has since been corrected.***

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