Missouri Firefighter Dies in Accident

A member of the U.S. 36 Raceway fire crew was killed Friday night at the track in Osborn, Mo., while trying to save others from a possible tragedy.

Bob Bestgen, 51, was trying to stop a push truck that had slipped out of gear and appeared headed toward spectators, according to his wife, Pat.

Push trucks at dirt tracks are used mostly for helping start race cars and packing the track.

My husband enjoyed the races, and he had worked at the track since it was opened, Pat Bestgen said of her husband, who was a member of the Osborn fire department.

Pat Bestgen, who was not at the track when the accident occurred, said she heard that one of the push-truck drivers saw a fight and got out of the truck. Her husband, she said, tried to get in the truck to stop it when it started moving but got tangled underneath.

The accident took place shortly after the weekly program had been completed. Bestgen was pronounced dead about 2 a.m. Saturday at a hospital in Cameron, Mo.

Neither U.S. 36 Raceway officials nor Osborn Fire Department officials were available for comment.

Visitation for Bestgen is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Poland-Thompson Funeral Home in Cameron, with the rosary at 6:30 p.m. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Osborn High School gymnasium.

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