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Father and five-year-old son killed in horror golf cart crash, suspect arrested

A father and his five-year-old son were killed in a horror crash after a car swerved onto the wrong side of the road and smashed into their golf cart.

Michael Marlowe, 39, and his young son Bentley were identified as the two victims in the devastating collision in North Carolina on Monday.

Cops took the driver of the car, 23-year-old Austin Ray Harmon, into custody after believing he was impaired when he swerved into the wrong lane.

Marlowe, of Statesville, North Carolina was driving east in the golf cart when Harmon, who was coming West in his 2009 Honda Accord, crossed a centerline, and struck the cart, according to the police.

“Golf carts are a fun recreational activity for folks to get out and go for a ride, but when that mixes with a collision with a vehicle the end is often tragic,” State Trooper Jeffrey Swagger told WSOC-TV

Four other passengers in the golf cart were critically injured and taken to the hospital by helicopter.

Their ages were 2, 13, 16, and 26.

Micheal and Bentley died at the scene but Harmon was not injured.

Harmon now faces charges of driving while impaired, two counts of felony death by vehicle, and three counts of felony serious injury by vehicle.

Bentley died at the scene after he was hit by suspected driver 23-year-old Austin Ray Harmon.

His bond was set at $250,000.

WSOC reports Marlowe was the owner of a local auto body shop and was described by friends to the station as generous and helpful.

JR White, a family friend, told the station Marlowe once helped him with his car, even when he didn’t have the money.

“[He was] just a good person to know,” White said.

Bentley’s teacher, Anita Craver, described Bentley to as a “very sweet, sweet boy.” 

Austin Ray was taken into custody after cops believed he was impaired when he swerved into the wrong lane.
Austin Ray was taken into custody after cops believed he was impaired when he swerved into the wrong lane.
Iredell County Sheriffs Office

“[He was] just a child who really got along well with all of his peers and [brought] just a little bit of sunshine every day,” she said.

Loved ones gathered for a vigil held for the father and son at their church Tuesday night.

“You can feel the heaviness in the community around pretty much everybody,” Sharon Chambers, a family friend told WBTV. 

“It’s just an overwhelming heaviness of sorrow for them and their family,” she said.

Two different GoFundMes have been established to assist with the medical expenses of the crash survivors.

WBTV reports local churches are opening their doors for counsel to the first responders who bore witness to the crash.

“Why this tragedy, why these things, why children, the only answer I can give is my faith in Christ” pastor Dr. Scott Eanes told the station.

“That’s what gives me hope, that’s what helps me to help others,” he said.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.

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