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Long IslandObituaries

Jazz bassist Ben Tucker, 82, dies in car crash

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Musician Ben Tucker performed with stars from Quincy Jones to Peggy Lee before he settled in the 1970s in Savannah, where the jazz bassist became one of the city's best-known working musicians.

He was killed in a car crash Tuesday at age 82.

Tucker was driving a golf cart across a road on Hutchinson Island when a car slammed into him, said Savannah-Chatham County police spokesman Julian Miller. Tucker was pronounced dead at a hospital. The driver of the car, 52-year-old Robert William Martin of Spicewood, Texas, was charged with vehicular homicide, racing and reckless driving. It was not immediately known if Martin had an attorney.

The news stunned musicians and jazz enthusiasts in Savannah, where Tucker had been a musical fixture for roughly four decades. Tucker made his living playing upright bass -- an instrument he'd named Bertha and claimed was 240 years old -- in all sorts of settings from jazz festivals to wedding receptions, from nightclub gigs to bar mitzvahs.


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