Something really sad happened today. A student who I used to teach just a few years ago died in a car crash on his way to school this morning. He was only seventeen.
You can read the news article here if you like.
It doesn’t say a whole lot. I know the news media is supposed to be straightforward and just serve the facts, but it seems like such a brief article to announce such a tragic loss.
It doesn’t explain exactly what happened. Did Ryan just not see the truck coming down the road? Why wasn’t the truck driver able to stop or swerve out of the way? At what point did Ryan realize that something had gone horribly wrong? Was it fast?
I hope it was fast.
Did he tell his parents that he loved them that morning before leaving for school? Did they tell him?
The article also leaves out things that I don’t want to think about. Like what on earth kind of phone call that must have been for the policemen to make to Ryan’s parents, asking them to come down to the scene of the accident. I can’t imagine I’d ever want to pick up the phone again after that.
The article forgot to mention what a nice guy Ryan was, and an excellent student. He’d just earned an award that would give him an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. as a representative of his school later this summer. He was a quiet, soft-spoken kid. An avid hunter and fisherman. A loyal friend according to the outpouring of grief and fond memories being posted on his Facebook page by the entire student body of his school. He was the kind of kid who always had to call me “ma’am” even though it made me feel old, because his parents had just ingrained in him that southern charm. He was the kind of kid who deserved to at least see graduation day.
It’s shocking that he’s gone. The common threads running through everyone’s posts about him on Facebook are: “Don’t take anything for granted. Treat every day as if it’s your last. Hug your friends and your family. Tell them how much they mean to you.”
He was a good Christian boy, and I know he’s in heaven now. But it’s hard not to be sad that his life was taken from him so quickly, at such a young age.
Rest in peace, Ryan. You will be missed.