Family, community members say goodbye to Edgefield County teen killed in crash

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:32 PM EST
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EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Family members, friends, teammates, and community members are all remembering Ryan White, the Edgefield teen who died in a car crash over the weekend.

Ryan’s mom, Tracy White, is the one who found his truck crashed on the side of Egghouse Road near Trenton.

She said Ryan was a few minutes late for curfew, so she went looking. Within minutes, her life changed forever.

Ryan was 16 years old, loved baseball, and helping strangers.

Multiple vigils have already been held in Augusta and Edgefield to honor Ryan’s life and remember the boy who they say could make anyone smile and laugh.

Those smiles even came from his family as they mourn his loss.

“He wanted to help people,” Tracy said. “‘Mom, I need to get help this boy.’ ‘Ryan, you don’t even know him.’ He got in more trouble for helping. His curfew was broke more times for helping a guy on the side of the road.”

“I hope that if anybody ever wants to be like somebody, it’s like him,” Rachel Henry, Ryan’s sister, said.

Ryan’s family and friends say he wasn’t just a student and a baseball player, they say he was a giver. Even after his tragic death, they tell me he’s found a way to do just that.

“It didn’t matter if he was in the classroom, if he was in the hallway, or if he was out on the field doing his thing,” Tracy said. “His smile was infectious.”

And now, Ryan is a hero in death. His family says he’d donating his organs.

“I’ll get to hear his heartbeat again,” Tracy said. “It’s giving me hope. He’ll live on.”

But it’s that image of finding him in the truck is that haunts Tracy.

“I remember beating on the back of the car and saying, ‘Ryan, Ryan!” and he gasps. You could hear him taking deep, gasping breaths.”

An entire community -- lighting candles, telling stories, honoring a boy who they say loved everyone.

“If that wouldn’t have happened or we wouldn’t have gotten to see that type of thing, there wouldn’t have been as much peace in our hearts,” Henry said.

The crowd was a testament to how his family says Ryan never made anyone feel alone.

“He was a phenomenal kid,” Tracy said.

“He was,” Henry said.

“He might be mine, and I might be biased, but he was,” Tracy said.

“He was a giver,” Henry said. “He was a lover.”

Once a center fielder, his mom says now he’s an angel in the outfield.

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