FRIENDS have paid tribute to a motorbike and car fanatic who was killed in a crash on Valentine’s Day.
Ben Bowen, 25, died in a collision on the A40 between Letterson and Haverfordwest, in Mid Wales when his Yamaha bike hit a blue Ford Focus and a silver Peugeot 308 just after 4pm.
Former Wootton Bassett School pupil Ben, who moved to Broad Haven two years ago, was pronounced dead at the scene and police are appealing for witnesses.
A group of around 60 pals from Ben’s secondary school, now known as Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, gathered at the Cross Keys pub, High Street, on Friday.
Eleanor Southgate, 24, one of Ben’s closest school friends, said: “He was always the one to make people laugh and I’ve got so many memories of him from school.
“He moved back to Wales two years ago and he had set up his own business as a mechanic so he’d made a better life for himself there. He was really into his cars and motorbikes.
“I remember when we were in school we both had mopeds and used to ride them around together. And he would always be dressing up and playing jokes.
“I couldn’t believe it when my partner woke me up in the night to tell me – I couldn’t get back to sleep I was devastated.
“It was great to be able to get together in the pub and all his old mates turned up.”
Linzi Bird, 25, said: “He was the most funny and amazing person to be around he is missed so much already.”
Close pal Jake Wheeler said: “I’m gutted to know Ben isn’t here anymore as he was always the life and soul of everything he did. He was amazing.”
His friends in Haverfordwest are holding a car cruise in his memory this Saturday.
Joe Dunning said: “Anyone who knew him knew he had a love for bikes, cars, basically anything that was loud and fast, which is why we have decided to organise this cruise to pay tribute to the legend.
“The plan is to do the cruise meeting at Withybush Aero-drome and go to Letterston where the accident was and have a minute’s silence.
“We’re hoping to raise money towards funeral costs.”
Ben’s mum Sally Newton said the support she’d received from the local community had been overwhelming.
“You can see Ben was just the most wonderful person you'd ever meet,” she said. “Anybody lucky enough to have met him, they were touched and he was an absolute star to everybody.
“He was funny, happy and never serious, he’d make you laugh within two minutes of being with him.
“We’ve had so much support.It’s the whole community, the football club and just generally all his friends, there are hundreds. I’ve had so much support from his friends from Swindon, Wootton Bassett and Lyneham, where Ben lived for a time.
“I’d like to let them know how important their support has been.”