SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Friends of Ben Turner say the 23-year-old is gone way too soon. 

“I couldn’t believe it. You know, he’s just the guy that’s always there and always there to help somebody,” Andrew Abramovitz said. 

“It did not feel real. I was in denial,” Jordan Fasone said. “I met [Turner] through my work at Pep Boys. He’s a funny, goofy guy. He was always there whenever I needed help or a friend to talk to.”

Turner was on his motorcycle on May 5 when Springfield police say he swerved to avoid a car, hit a median and then hit another car.

“I know Ben’s family is just distraught and just can’t believe it. Just like I couldn’t believe it,” Abramovitz said. “Ben was like a brother to me at times, and he meant a lot to all of his other peers in the youth group at church and they all miss him.” 

So far this year, there have been five fatal motorcycle crashes. In all of 2022, there were only six. 

“The last conversation I had with Ben on the phone was about a motorcycle accident at Chestnut and Glenstone a few weeks ago,” Abramovitz said. “He was saying, ‘Yeah, it’s almost like there’s one like every day.” 

The two say Turner’s passing, along with the increase in fatal crashes, have changed their view on motorcycles.

“The day before he passed, I actually put [my motorcycle] up for sale for these reasons, because, like, I don’t want to risk my life,” Fasone said. 

“I don’t ride motorcycles, just more or less the fear of riding them around town because there are so many accidents with motorcycles,” Abramovitz said.

Turner’s friends said they hope drivers and riders can pay more attention to the road.

“Motorcyclists and automobile drivers just need to look twice to save a life, as they say,” Abramovitz said. 

“I saw on Facebook, like if you have a kid, have them point out motorcycles like a game to see how many they can find. That [might] will teach them later in life to always look for motorcycles,” Fasone said.