17-Year-Old ID'd After Motorcycle Crash On Ritner Highway, Route 11

A Newville 17-year-old has been identified by his family following a deadly motorcycle crash involving a tractor-trailer at Ritner Highway and Route 11. 

Drew Benfield.
Drew Benfield. Photo Credit: GoFundMe/Dawn Gates

Drew Benfield was days away from graduating when his 1999 Kawasaki motorcycle "impacted with the trailer" of a 2017 Kenworth truck in the 3400 block of Ritner Highway onto Route 11 in West Pennsboro Township on Monday, May 8, 2023, around 12 p.m., according to a release by Pennsylvania State Police. 

Patrick Dowler of Hagerstown, MD was driving the truck. He was seatbelted and unharmed, PSP noted, adding that Benfield was also wearing his safety equipment of a helmet, but he died from his injuries.

Drew was days away from graduating from Big Spring High School in Newville as part of the class of 2023, according to school media and his Aunt, Dawn Gates, who launched a GoFundMe for his family. 

Gates said, her nephew was planning to attend a trade school in Florida in the fall. 

She also mentioned that "he loved his family and loved his motorcycle."

His own Facebook bio. shares the same sentiment: "bikes are my life, ride fast die last, may god be with you."

Drew enjoyed motorcycle racing on tracks and roads, ATV riding, fishing, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, and baseball— both playing and watching the sport, according to his social media.

"Our family did not plan for a loss so young. In lieu of flowers please donate to help with the cost of services. I appreciate you and thank you for thoughts, prayers, and kind words to my family," Gates wrote on the GoFundMe.

In the first two hours, the campaign has surpassed its initial goal of $3,000, raising $3,780 from 65 donations with the top one of $500 coming from Jason Nickle. 

He is survived by his family including "Heather, John, (and) Kendall Benfield, and Cody Coy," as well as his extended family, friends, teammates, and classmates, according to his aunt and social media— some of which have been sharing about their sudden loss by posting photos of Drew.

Funeral and memorial service details for Drew have yet to be released. 

Click here to donate to the GoFundMe. 

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