‘For JT’: Cyclists in Richland County ride again in memory of friend killed one year ago

Published: Aug. 28, 2019 at 11:58 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - It was a year ago that Justin Turner was killed when he was hit by a car in Richland County at Lake Carolina Boulevard and Hardscrabble Road.

Troopers say the car that hit him, was avoiding another vehicle. They say the driver that caused the crash left the scene and still has not been found.

On Wednesday, dozens in Richland County got on their bikes and for a second year, went on a ride in honor of Justin Turner.

It started with a meeting at Summit Cycles, on Two Notch Road, a shop near to Turner’s heart.

Leading a speech to the crowd was Justin Turner’s wife, Brooke. She is fighting two battles, grief and stage 4 breast cancer, but she has the cycling community behind her, as they all fight together.

“Justin Loved this community so dearly, and I know y’all loved him too,” Brook Turner said. “Y’all have helped us, helped push us up the hill, this year. Thank you so much for doing this in honor of him.”

After her speech, and a brief prayer, the riders took off. Justin Turner’s brother in law, Jon Fisher was among the group. “Justin was a fun man. We raised our families together. He listened to 80s music with me and we just had a great time,” Fisher said.

The ride, about 16 miles in total, took them through the Lake Carolina community, just a few hundred yards from where Turner was hit. Today, a red, spray-painted heart marks that spot.

"Cyclists painted that the day after Justin was killed," Fisher said. As the ride came to a close, Fisher once again felt the bond of a community that his brother in law loved. Fisher says one day, he will get to see his friend again. "I'm looking forward to meeting Justin,” Fisher said, “just gonna give him a big hug.”

Fisher hopes they can continue the ride again next year. The memorial ride on Wednesday was also about bringing awareness so that vehicles and cyclists can share the road.

Tim Malson, a co-owner Summit Cycles said, “the three things we cyclists really ask is for motorists to be aware of us, to not be distracted, to slow down and to give us at least 3 feet when they pass us.”

Highway Patrol says possibly a silver vehicle is believed to have caused the crash that killed Justin Turner on August 25th, 2018.

They are encouraging anyone to reach out to them if they have any more details about the crash.

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