Marlin F. “Bud” Bushnell, 73, was sitting in his living room minding his own business when a motorist accidentally plowed into his house with an SUV and killed him late Sunday, January 13.
Bushnell, a resident of Saturn Drive in Godfrey, was the innocent victim of a St. Louis car accident that followed a domestic disturbance a block away.
The Madison County Sheriff's Department had initially been called to a domestic disturbance along Mercury Drive shortly before 10:45 p.m. According to police reports, 24-year-old Jacob L. Fickle was involved in a violent argument with two other family members at his home.
Fickle reportedly beat up two people at the home and then grabbed the keys to a sport utility vehicle belonging to one of his family members. As he sped away in anger, Fickle lost control of the SUV and crashed one block later, smashing into the front of Bushnell's house. Bushnell was found under the vehicle and died at the scene from his injuries.
Bushnell was the sole occupant of the home. His wife died in 2007, leaving him a widower in the house they had built four decades earlier.
Fickle then fled the scene of the fatal car accident on foot. Police quickly caught up with him and arrested him in the parking lot of the Beer Barrel Pub off Montclaire Avenue.
Fickle is being charged with domestic battery, driving with a revoked license, failing to slow down to avoid an accident, and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
Bushnell, known as “Bud” to his friends, worked for Olin Corp. for 30 years before becoming a school bus driver for the Alton School District for 10 years. He was well liked by the students, many of whom saw him as a grandfather figure, and enjoyed his frequent visits to Alton High Redbird games.
Our deepest sympathies go to the family and friends of Mr. Bushnell.