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Friends of Clark Fork River victim say he'll be missed

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 05:35:50 AM MDT
Updated On: Jun 12 2014 06:34:10 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Officials with the Missoula County Sheriff's Office released the name of the man who died after Tuesday's incident on the Clark Fork River.

We're told 71-year-old Missoula resident Melvin Arthur Beedle was killed after the maroon SUV he was driving crashed into the river near the Taco John's parking lot on West Broadway.

Officials recovered Beedle's body Wednesday afternoon and pulled the SUV from the river with a crane.

People who knew him say Beedle was a long time Missoula County resident who lived at the Forest Lounge and Motel, west of town, for more than 20 years.

Employees at the lounge say Beedle was a good man, known for his kindness, and they say he'll be missed.

The Missoula Police Department is still investigating the circumstances surrounding Beedle's death.

We’re told investigators are looking into the man's history, where he was in the 24 hours before he died, and if he had any medical problems.

The cause and manner of death have not been determined at this time.