Wife of man killed in hit-and-run left with questions

The 4,000-mile drive from Alaska was a familiar one for Elgie Bedford and should have ended a few days later just like it always had: with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Texas. 

But it didn’t. 

 

ELGIE BEDFORD

 

It ended near mile marker 375 on westbound Interstate 90 in an apparent hit-and-run early Monday that killed Bedford and has law enforcement hunting for the vehicle involved. 

Bedford, 81, set out every year around this time to spend part of the winter with family. He usually makes the trip from Wasilla, Alaska, to Paris, Texas, in eight — maybe 10 — days. 

It was a trip “he knew like the back of his hand,” his wife, Carol, told The Enterprise Tuesday morning. “He was a very good driver. He drove that trip many, many times.” 

She doesn’t know why Elgie’s Ford Taurus was abandoned on the eastbound side of the interstate. Or why he may have been walking on the highway. 

He hadn’t had any car problems that she knew of.

“I used to go down with him, but I’ve gotten to where I can’t anymore,” Carol said.

She got the news when Wasilla police came to her house Monday. 

They had been contacted by Montana Highway Patrol.

Emotion thickened Carol’s voice.

“He was just a good man, an all-around good man,” she said. “I hope very much that they catch the person that did this. He did not deserve to die that way.”

She paused. “Not even to bother to stop. That angers me greatly.”

Married seven years, Carol, 73, and Elgie were longtime friends and had both been widowed. 

“I was going through a bad time, and he was there for me,” she said. “He was just always there for me.”

Bedford was a former United States Air Force master sergeant. He worked in communications and radar during the Korean War, Carol said. 

He had his pilot’s license and loved to fly. Carol said he and his sons enjoyed flying remote-control airplanes.

She described her late husband as a “homebody.”

“He just liked to work around the house,” she said. “He loved tools.”

Born and raised in the Atlanta area, Elgie moved to Wasilla as part of his military service and never left, Carol said. 

She moved to the Wasilla area from Seattle, Wash., in 1956.

“I’m just hoping and praying that they will find the person that did this,” she said.

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Reporter Rebecca Miller may be reached at rmiller@livent.net.