Its very sad a local man who every single day commutes in his wheeelchair up near my wifes work was struck by a highschool kid and killed a few days ago..I never spoke with him but i saw the man a time or two and seem very good natured and was always picking up trash and taking steps to better the communnity He was a semi regular customer at my wifes store..Its very sad i will miss seeing that motorized wheel chair scooting fown the road
And here is the news story.............In text with additional info
VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Michigan State Police are investigating a deadly crash involving a motorized wheelchair.
Investigators say Raymond Effnor was crossing M-40 near Gobles on Monday morning when he was struck by a car.
The accident took place near Effnor'* appartment.
State police say at the time Effnor was hit, it was dark and Effnor did not have lights on his wheelchair. He was thrown to the ground and died a short time later.
Effnor has been a fixture in Gobles.
“He always came in and would stay here and would talk to everybody,” said Sue Hawkins.
Effnor'* picture hangs on the wall at Healey'* Hardware Store. Hawkins said he would stop there daily for coffee, and also cleaned the park and roadsides from his wheelchair.
“He rides miles on the scooter, just picking up the trash along the edge of the road,” said Hawkins.
“He was a very nice guy, he tried to keep the community clean,” said Niki Kirk, “he'd go down the road and pick up bottles and cans.”
Effnor also frequented the Village Market. Employees there said he logged hundreds of miles in his chair.
“He didn't let his handicap stop him, moved around good,” said Todd Ranney, Village Market manager.
Despite that mobility, Effnor'* neighbor at Colonial Apartments says he was concerned for his safety.
“He'* on the road with that thing and it'* black out,” said John Edwards.
Edwards said M-40 held many dangers for Effnor.
“This is an obscene highway,” said Edwards, “it'* like twelve or fourteen thousand car road and it gets 20,000 cars a day, it was just a matter of time before someone clipped him.”
Friends say at least one caretaker tried to get the government to help Effnor move to a safer location in assistant living, they say she'* upset they did nothing to help.
“I don't see how it could have been avoided as long as he was living here,” said Edwards, “not under some type of light supervision.”
Effnor'* friends say his independent spirit made him an inspiration.
“For a person that had so many challenges, you know physical challenges, he was doing so well,” said Hawkins. “A lot of people, you know, give up, but that was something that he never did.”