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Man involved in Hampshire Township crash dies

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 11:14 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 11:22 p.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – The 22-year-old Sycamore man who recently died after a motorcycle crash northwest of Hampshire was remembered Tuesday as a natural racer. David Larson, owner of S&V Solutions in Sycamore, said 22-year-old John Beach was a skilled worker who welded and worked on projects for him. Beach used to ride the black and red motorcycle he built himself on S&V Solutions’ dirt track.

“The kid was a natural,” Larson said. “You just couldn’t touch him on the dirt track. He’d beat guys who have been riding for 20 years.”

Beach was pronounced dead by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Officer about 2:50 a.m. Sunday, two days after a motorcycle crash, according to a Kane County Sheriff’s Office news release. The crash is under investigation.

Kane County sheriff’s deputies and Hampshire police responded to Allen Road east of Walker Road, which is northwest of Hampshire, about 1:50 a.m. Friday for a report of two motorcycles involved in a crash. Beach and Benjamin Fletcher, 26, of Elgin, were flown from Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge after the crash. Authorities believe the men were traveling together; neither man was wearing a helmet. 

Fletcher was charged with two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and operating an uninsured vehicle.

Larson was shocked at the news of Beach’s death considering his skill in riding motorcycles. Beach’s 22nd birthday was Thursday.

“He was trying to figure out what to do in life,” Larson said. “He had a career offer for professional welding and was about to take a test for an operator’s union. He had a lot of things on his plate and all sorts of opportunities.”

Larson said it will be difficult to replace Beach, a multitalented carpenter and welder who was “full of life.”

“A lot of us old guys are wringing our hands over this loss,” said Larson, who is 59 years old. “We’re sorely going to miss him.”

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