SPD asking for help identifying suspect in hit-and-run


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield Police Department is looking for a 2015-2019 Ford F-150 that was involved in a fatal hit-and-run on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The vehicle is missing its passenger-side mirror.

The fatal collision happened in the 200 block of East Chestnut Expressway.

According to SPD, 49-year-old Jeremy Behrends of Springfield was traveling eastbound on Chestnut Expressway in his 2014 Hyundai Sonata when he struck two people: 48-year-old Richard Gardner and 52-year-old Scarlet Turner.

Both Turner and Gardner have since died. Next of kin have been notified.

Quinton Forester, with the Veteran’s Coming Home Center, says the two ate there every day and they were his good friends. He refers to Garner as Dean.

“They were actually boyfriend and girlfriend,” said Forester. “We served him every day here. Dean had some medical issues and had to walk with a walker all the time. You know, he’d hunch over every time when he walked. Scarlett was the sweetest thing and she kind of took Dean up under her wing.”

According to Forester, just about everyone in the homeless community knew him and Turner and they hope the driver of the truck is found.

“As we [Forester and his wife] are walking up, I see the fire truck and them pulling up. I turned to my wife and said, “I can’t do this.” I’ll have the image stuck in my head. Just because we knew them so well,” Forester said.

SPD has now determined Gardner was first struck by a white, full-sized Ford pickup. Turner is said to have been helping Gardner when they were both hit by Behrend’s Hyundai.

Call the Police Department (417) 864-1810 if you have any information about the hit-and-run.

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