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Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Family grateful for luck following son's accident

Staff Writer

PECOS, December 20, 2000 - With all the violence and heartbreak in the world people seemed to have stopped believing in miracles but to one local family a miracle happened a week ago today.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2000, local barber Lee Ryan set off to go into work from their home north of Barstow before 7 a.m., earlier than he usually does.

While on his way to work, Ryan saw a set of headlights and taillights up ahead through the darkness.

Ryan said it looked like the vehicle was off in a pasture and planned to pull over and help whoever was having the trouble.

As he arrived closer to the accident Ryan noticed that it was a small vehicle that had slid off the road on the Ward County side of Sullivan's bridge and pulled over to give some assistance.

But after getting out of his vehicle he recognized the truck belonged to his son, Christopher.

"I realized it was his pickup," he said.

With a sudden surge of panic, Ryan attempted to run down the icy incline to get to his son but fell and slid to the ground where he stood up and continued running toward the pickup.

With only the thought of reaching his son, Ryan didn't notice the barbed wire fence until he fell over it ripping his jeans.

"When I got to the pickup he wasn't in it," he said.

Ryan began calling out Christopher's name and finally found him sitting on the ground about 100-150 yards away from the truck.

Ryan said Christopher didn't know were he was or what had happened and thought he was still at work at the Reeves County Detention Center.

To comfort his son, Ryan said he placed his hand on Christopher's head and felt blood.

He immediately called his wife Wanda with his cellular phone and told Christopher he needed an ambulance.

Christopher refused to go in an ambulance so Ryan decided to help him to his vehicle but after a few attempts realized Chris would not be able to walk on his own.

Ryan said he then prayed to the Lord for strength to get Christopher to safety and started to carry his son up the same icy incline he slid down moments earlier.

"I was going to do whatever I had to help my son," he said.

Ryan said the amazing thing is that while he carried Christopher up the icy incline he never lost his footing and made it to the top safely.

Ryan and his wife Wanda and Christopher's twin sister, April, who had by then arrived at the scene, took Christopher to the Reeves County Hospital.

Christopher was admitted into the hospital with very low body temperature and a severe concussion.

When Christopher arrived at the hospital his body temperature was at 94 degrees and Ryan said the doctors informed him that if Christopher's temperature had dropped one more degree he would have gone into convulsions.

"The Lord was watching over the boy," Ryan said.

Ryan said Christopher stayed in the hospital overnight and didn't realize he was in an accident until about 4 p.m., that afternoon.

After talking to his wife, Ryan said April, Christopher's twin had come into her mother's room before they knew there was an accident and asked her what was wrong with Christopher.

Ryan said he asked her how she knew something was wrong with Christopher she said, "I just knew something was wrong with my brother."

Ryan said Christopher is doing better although he still gets dizzy and has trouble traveling in a vehicle.

"He's doing real good now," he said. "He hasn't got all his coordination back yet."

"I told him now he knows how Troy Aikman feels," Ryan added.

Things are slowly getting back to normal and the Ryan family plans on having a very Merry Christmas because they are fortunate enough to be together which is something they are very thankful for.

"I just feel blessed," Ryan said. "It could have been a lot worse."

Ryan also said he believes the Lord was watching over his son and influenced himself to leave for work early that morning.

"I credit the good Lord for me leaving early," he said.

Ryan said his family is looking forward to next year.

In October, Ryan and his wife, Wanda, were also in a wreck when they were stopped at a stop sign on FM 1216 on the north side of Pecos, when another vehicle came around the corner fast and hit the front of their car.

April is the one who came upon that accident which could have ended tragically.

Ryan said someone said that his family has had bad luck this year but he said, "We've had some good luck. It could have been so much worse."

The Ryan family is looking forward to having a big celebration for Christmas.

Ryan said that his son or daughter, he's not sure which one, said, "Just all of us being together is the biggest celebration."

"It's going to be fun," Ryan said. "Maybe we will all stay in."

Parent-son discount of `Grinch' offered

PECOS, December 20, 2000 - Local residents are invited to come and join Pecos area Cub Scouts on Saturday at the historic State Theater.

A special matinee showing of the "The Grinch," will be held Saturday afternoon. Cost is $4 per parent/son pair. Door opens at 1:15 p.m.


PECOS, December 20, 2000 - High Tuesday 63. Low this morning 42. Forecast for tonight: Increasing clouds and colder. Low in the lower 20s. Wind becoming northeast 10 to 20 mph. Thursday: Mostly cloudy morning: Decreasing clouds in the afternoon. Cold with a high 40 to 45. East wind 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low near 20. Friday through Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the 20s. Highs 50 to 55.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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