Family remembers West Haven teen who died in motorcycle accident
Jun 29, 2023, 9:58 PM | Updated: Jun 30, 2023, 10:00 am
WEST HAVEN, Utah — A Weber County family is grieving the loss of their 18-year-old son who was killed in a motorcycle crash Monday.
“Ben was about the sweetest most loving kid you would ever meet,” said Brian Berry, Benjamin’s father.
“He was such a good kid,” added Ben’s stepmother, Amy.
The couple sat together with Ben’s mother, Camille Payne, in her West Haven home Thursday after visiting the Lindquist Mortuary in Roy. They shared photos from his childhood and graduation, as well as a video of him doing the dishes wearing a Utah Jazz jersey as a cape while dancing and waving toy light sabers around.
“He was so loving,” Payne said of her son. “Always, always willing to help,” she said. “He’s that goofball you just gravitated towards.”
Benjamin died in a crash Tuesday night around 9:15 p.m. while riding his new motorcycle near 3330 S. Midland Drive in West Haven. It was a bike he saved up for and purchased a few weeks ago with the help of his parents.
“One of his favorite quotes he used was ‘die with memories, not dreams,’ so when he talked about wanting to get a motorcycle, he was like I want to experience life, I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and think ‘what if?’ down the road,” Brian Berry said.
Benjamin planned to take a motorcycle safety course in a few weeks and had been spending hours learning his new bike. On Tuesday, after spending time talking with his father, he decided to take one last ride for the night. Ten minutes after he left Brian says he heard the emergency sirens and checked a locator app only to find his son’s bike wasn’t moving.
“He was heading west and there was an SUV In front of him that changed lanes to turn into a location and decided for whatever reason, they maneuvered back into traffic,” Brian Berry said. “And he had just started to accelerate to go around them and so did not have time to react and was actually clipped by the SUV and that caused him to be ejected from his bike and went head-on into another motorcycle coming the other direction.”
According to the Weber County Sheriff’s Office the details of the crash are still being investigated and the Weber Metro CRASH Unit will try to determine what happened on Midland Drive in those final seconds of his life.
Ben’s father doesn’t place blame on the SUV driver or the motorcyclist.
“The Lord called him home at a time he needs him,” said Berry. “It was truly an accident I believe,” he said. “I don’t blame the other drivers. I don’t blame anybody else, it was just completely an accident.”
The Berry and Payne families hope drivers will learn from their loss — and in Ben’s memory — commit to paying attention to what’s happening on the road.
“I want them to learn to pay attention when they’re driving, you see so many people that don’t pay attention,” Payne said.
While sorting through photos of Ben on Thursday preparing for his funeral, the reality of his death sunk in. Together, his parents fought back tears.
“He’s my best buddy, always has been,” Brian Berry said.
“He loved his brothers, he was just a very caring kid,” added Payne.
The family is now finding comfort knowing Ben’s memory and generosity will live on.
“When he got his license and found out he could be a donor he was like ‘yes, put yes, because if I go I want to help a lot of people’ … and he did,” Payne said.
Ben graduated from Fremont High School this year and was attending Ogden-Weber Technical College. He was preparing to go to Weber State University where he planned to study construction management and pursue his love of architecture and design.
A GoFundMe page* has been created to help pay for his funeral service. A viewing will be held at Lindquist Mortuary in Roy on Sunday evening from 5-7 p.m. The funeral service will be held Monday at 11 a.m., with a viewing before beginning at 9:30 a.m.
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