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22-year-old Josh Turan killed in Delhi motorcycle accident
By Lissa Harris
5/14/12 - 5:18 pm
5/14/12 - 5:18 pm
Josh Turan. Photo courtesy of David Turan.
To his friends, 22-year-old Josh Turan was a thrill-seeker: A goofy, fearless kid who liked snowboarding, motocross racing, and parkour, and would rather spend the night outdoors than under a roof.
But when he was killed in a motorcycle accident on Route 10 in Delhi on Saturday, May 12, Turan wasn't doing anything particularly daredevilish. He was driving to Meredith, on his way to see a community-theater production of "James and the Giant Peach" directed by his uncle.
State police said that around 5:30 on Saturday afternoon, Turan's 2001 Triumph was hit by a 2005 Subaru making a left-hand turn from Falls Mills Road onto Route 10. The driver was 48-year-old Betsy Clark of Delhi. Turan had severe injuries from the collision, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are investigating the crash.
The news of Turan's death has been a devastating blow to his family, and to the close-knit community where he was involved in theater and had many friends.
Turan grew up in Cairo, and his parents Andrew and Christine Turan now live in Catskill. During Josh's high school years, the family moved to Florida, where Josh graduated in 2008 from the Ridge Community High School in Haines City. After graduating, Josh returned to upstate New York and moved in with his uncles, David Turan and his husband Kelly Keck, on their Stamford farm.
Soon after moving back upstate, Josh began dating Rachel Adams, who was involved in local theater and is now studying acting in New York City. The two starred together in a production of "Anne of Green Gables" in Catskill last summer.
A few months ago, Josh left Stamford to move back to Catskill. On the day of the accident, Keck said that Josh had come up to Stamford for a surprise visit, and to see the show in Meredith that evening, which David was directing.
"He spent the afternoon with Dave," Keck said. "I saw him drive away."
That was the last time anyone in his family saw Josh. By the time the curtain went up at 7pm, the cast and crew -- many of whom knew Josh -- were worried.
"As the show went on, of course we started asking where he was, and everybody started texting him and he wasn't responding," said Keck. "After the show Dave went home. He was at home when the state troopers came and told him. And they gave him [Josh's] wallet."
The Turan family is very tight-knit, said Keck, who spoke to the Watershed Post today from Andrew and Christine's home in Catskill, where the family is gathering.
"The family is rallying," Keck said. "This is the most devastating time in our lives. You have no idea how much we miss him already."
Keck, who met David in 2001, said Josh welcomed him wholeheartedly into the Turan family. When the two were married last November at the Bibliobarn in South Kortright, Josh was David's best man. When David couldn't go to Keck's grandparents' funeral, Josh volunteered to go with Keck instead.
"He was close to everyone in his family," Keck said. "Family was very important to him."
Josh worked in construction, and was a snowmaker on Hunter Mountain during the winter. On the mountain, his nickname was "Fishhooks," for the snakebite piercings he wore in his lower lip.
Eighteen-year-old Tyler Loud of Catskill, a lifelong friend of Josh's whose mother was a close friend of Christine's, said that Josh and his friends were always looking for the next adventure: dirt bike racing, camping, boating, exploring abandoned buildings.
"He always wanted to be outdoors," he said. "He didn't really want to do normal things. He'd want to take a boat out to an island and grill and have music."
Josh's father Andrew said that people had warned Josh about the dangers of motorcycling.
"My son was a beautiful person," he said, struggling to get the words out through his grief. "He was told and told by my friends and my family that the bike wasn't right for him, and it was dangerous, and most of all that other people don't see you on the motorcycle. I've lost four people now in my life, four people I loved, to motorcycles."
Josh's mother Christine, who got the news of her son's death the evening before Mother's Day, said that she was heartbroken.
"When he was born it was the happiest day of my life, and he was my world, my heart, my soul," she said. "One day we will be together. Until that day I'll be missing him forever. My heart is broken."
Josh also leaves behind an older sister, Kristy York, who lives with her husband in Lexington, North Carolina. His paternal grandparents, Andrew Turan Sr. and Bonnie Turan, live in Stuart, FL. Maternal grandmother Adrienne Sellite lives in Sebring, FL and Silver Plains, NY.
A funeral service for Josh Turan will be held on Friday, May 18 at noon, at the Traver-McCurry Funeral Home in Catskill. Viewing hours will be held on Thursday, from 2pm to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm.
Below: Rachel Adams and Josh Turan at Adams's prom in 2011. Photo by Beth Adams.
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