Courageous Story Of Ryan Franklin Family Recovering After Distracted Driving Tragedy
You have a family. You make plans. You are happy. For some, tragedy then strikes and wipes it all away. This is the courageous story of Ryan Franklin's family. Ryan was the Twin Falls firefighter who was struck and killed by a distracted driver while riding his bike last May. His wife Amie told us about their life before that day, the day Ryan died and their life now.
"I started to scream. I jumped out of the car and just fell on the ground and I knew it was over."
Amie: "Nothing really held us back. We did a lot of stuff together as a family and we were happy to finally be together in our forever home to where we didn't have to move again. It was really nice just to feel like we were getting ready to start on the fun part of life."
Then, on May 18, 2016, Ryan went out for a bike ride. Amie remembers that day.
Amie: "I tracked him on my phone so that if he were to get lost or anything or if I didn't hear from him, I could find him on my phone. So, my phone tracked his phone. A little over an hour after he left, I looked at where his GPS was and I noted where he was in my mind. I work from home, so I went on and did some stuff at work. And, he hadn't gotten back yet. And, so, I went ahead and looked at it again and it was at the same location, his phone was. And, I thought it was ironic that I had caught him going and coming at the exact same spot. But, there was this little voice in my head that said, you better check again in a couple seconds. I tried to call him and he didn't answer. I texted him a couple times and he didn't answer."
After getting the kids ready to be taken care of, Amie left to go find Ryan. Eventually, she came upon the scene where there were emergency vehicles present and she knew this was not good.
Amie: "I saw the police car and my heart just sank and I knew then it wasn't good. I held out hope, but I pulled up to the road block where the deputy was and I said "has a cyclist been hit?". He said "yes". And, I said "it's my husband, I need to be down there". He said "no maam, you can't go down there. We don't know who it is and we don't know how bad he's been hurt".
Amie had a deputy friend of the family on the phone and she had him speak to the deputy at the road block. When his conversation was over, Amie asked if there were other emergency vehicles coming that might assist with her husband, if he were injured. When he said no, the reality of what had happened began to hit her.
Amie: "I started to scream. I jumped out of the car and just fell on the ground and I knew it was over."
Eventually, Amie was able to go see Ryan's body, and along the way also saw the horrific debris from where Ryan was hit to where his body had ended up.
After dealing with the horror of that reality, the worst was yet to come. Amie had friends and family take her home where she broke the news to her 4 young children.
Amie is one of the bravest people I've ever met. She said that along with her faith, the support of the Twin Falls community has been vital in her family's coping with this loss.
You owe it to yourself to watch Amie tell her story. It will forever change your outlook of how important it is to pay complete attention when you're behind the wheel of a vehicle. You don't want to be the person that causes a family to have to go through something as terrible as this.
Drive means drive, indeed.