Former state rep. dies after crash near Pere Marquette Park

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MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A former state representative died after a crash involving a pickup truck and a motorcycle near Pere Marquette Park Friday night.

The crash happened just before 9 p.m. on Beach Street near Indiana Avenue. Police said when officers arrived at the scene, the motorcyclist was “lying motionless in the street.”

The victim was identified by authorities as Douglas Bennett, 75, of Muskegon Township.

State Rep. Terry Sabo, D-Muskegon, confirmed in a Facebook post he is the same Doug Bennett who previously served in the Michigan House of Representatives.

“Doug was leader in our community and loved his profession and family,” Sabo wrote, recalling Bennett as his friend and mentor.

Bennett served as a Muskegon County commissioner from 1999 to 2004. He was then elected to the Michigan House, where he served from 2005 to 2010.

Marcia Hovey-Wright succeeded Bennett in representing the 92nd District in the House. She said Bennett was a family man and that translated to his profession as a public servant.

“It just grounded him and what was important and what the people of Muskegon needed and wanted from their government. He understood that at the very core and particularly the working people,” Hovey-Wright said.

Hovey-Wright and Bennett once ran against each other, but Bennett won. Once Bennett was term-limited out of office, Hovey-Wright ran again and won. She credited her election to Bennett’s support.

“He was a man of strong character, strong ethics, strong Democratic values, strong family values,” Hovey-Wright said.

Sabo agreed.

“That’s something that he continued to stand for day-in and day-out,” Sabo told News 8 over the phone. “…Even during his time serving his union, but also in his everyday life, again, with his family and across the community.” 

Investigators are still determining what led up to the crash. Police say they will provide more information when it becomes available.

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