By Jill Richardson
According to Idaho State Police, on Friday evening, April 5, around 8 p.m. Benjamin Morse, 23, and his 13 year old sister Bethany Morse, both of Melba, were heading north on Southside Blvd in a 2004 Kia Sedona van when Ryan Barnes, 39, of Nampa was traveling east on Bennett Road and failed to stop at the stop sign. Barnes’ 2011 Chevy Silverado pickup collided with Morse’s van at the intersection, causing both vehicles to overturn and come to rest in the field at the northeast corner of the intersection.
All three people were transported by ground ambulance to St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise. Benjamin Morse succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
Bethany returned home on Sunday and suffered from a cracked sternum and several cuts and bruises. “The doctors say she will be fine,” said her mom, Robin Morse. Softball will be put off and she won’t be involved in any other physical activities at school for about six weeks.
Both Benjamin and Bethany were wearing their seat belts. It is unknown if Ryan Barnes was wearing his seatbelt.
Benjamin is the son of Kevin and Robin (Buckles) Morse. Robin Morse went to school in Melba and they had moved their family back a little over a year ago after her husband, Kevin, retired from the U.S. Air Force.
Benjamin had graduated in 2008 from Mascoutah, Illinois. While in school, he played the trumpet in the high school band which led to traveling to many places to perform. “He really loved it,” said Mrs. Morse. “He was a special kid. He had friends all over the world.”
The Morse family has lived all over the world, being a military family, which had allowed Benjamin to create friendships far and wide.
Benjamin lived at home with his parents, brothers Jon, Brett, Jacob and sister Bethany. His dad works out of the country and was in Bahrain at the time of the accident but was able to get home on Sunday.
He loved music, games, writing and reading. He aspired to be a writer one day and loved doing fan fiction. Benjamin was a hugger and people could expect a hug over a handshake when they met him.
The Morse family also lived in Melba when Benjamin was much younger. Benjamin would go to the Melba Friends Church with his grandma, Jean Buckles.
“Anyone that went to church with them back then would remember him,” said Mrs. Morse. “He was a pistol.”
“He grew to be a sweet young man with beautiful blue eyes,” said Mrs. Morse. “He would do anything for anyone.”