As part of a weekend family reunion in Bear Lake, Ryker enjoyed a Friday night rodeo with his family and friends. He hugged his family, including his brother, parents, and grandparents, good-bye as he departed to drive a friend back to Cache Valley. As he left he said, “I’ll see you in the morning at the finish line,” referring to a 5K race that family would be running the following morning. Ryker was up early Saturday morning with every intention of cheering on his family members as they finished the race. Ryker’s bank statements showed that he stopped at both Taco Bell and McDonalds before starting his drive through Logan Canyon to Bear Lake.
His family ran the 5K race and found it odd that Ryker was not at the finish line, as he had promised. They enjoyed breakfast together and later gathered at the beach for boating. Family members continually asked, “Where is Ryker?” His parents were unable to reach him on his cellphone. Word spread around Bear Lake that a terrible accident had occurred in Logan Canyon. We assumed Ryker was held up behind the accident or had stopped to assist and this was causing his delays.
By early afternoon, law enforcement officials reached Ryker’s Dad on the phone and later, in person to family members with shocking and terrible news. Ryker was in a fatal, head-on collision, while traveling north through Logan Canyon to Bear Lake. Police think Ryker fell asleep while driving and crossed the center line. The vehicle he struck was carrying a Boy Scout troop driving home from a scouting trip. Thankfully, the passengers in the other vehicle received only minor injuries.
Ryker was 18-years-old at the time of the crash. He had just graduated from Sky View High School and had received an L.D.S. mission call to serve for two years in South Dakota. He was a member of the debate team, an Eagle Scout, an avid skier, and the funniest guy in Hyde Park. His accident was a terrible loss not only to his family but to his community.
Ryker loved his church, his family, and his friends. He also loved trucks, semis, cars, and anything with an engine. He wanted to work with his dad, uncle, and grandpa in their family towing and hauling business. More than that though, he wanted to be a nice guy who loved other people, had time for them, and made them happy. We miss him every single day! We miss that big grin he had, his funny jokes, and the way he made us feel. Ryker, we will “see you at the finish line!”