OLIVER SPRINGS, Tenn. (WATE) — The family of the Oliver Springs man killed in an ATV crash are currently grieving as they remember his life.
Anderson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene of the crash at Windrock Park on Saturday, April 8. The crash claimed the life of 18-year-old Ryan “Ryle” Lee Gehrts Jr. who was the passenger.
“One of his sisters called me and told me there had been an accident,” Ryan Gehrts Sr. said. “They were told he had passed away. He was probably dead on impact.
Windrock Park was the place Ryan Gehrts Jr. went often, according to his family.
“He would go there with his sisters, and brother in laws and they would go out and have a ball,” Ryan Gehrts Sr. said. “I know he was having fun when he died.”
Ryan Gehrts Jr. was the baby of his family. His father refers to him as his “little giant.” His family said it was his big heart they will remember the most.
“He was just a young old soul of a gentleman,” Kim Gehrts, his stepmom said. “If someone was getting bullied he’d step right in and took over and just help anybody that he could. He would help them through life.”
Ryan Gehrts Sr. said he was working at Y-12 National Security Complex in the carpenter union. His hobbies were anything in the outdoors.
“He loved everything outside, he just got a boat, he loved fishing and duck hunting,” Kim Gehrts said.
As the family continues to cope with this tragedy, they ask the community to “continue to pray.”
Ryan Gehrts Jr. was a passenger on a Razor that was operated by a 17-year-old, said a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office. The 17-year-old driver survived the crash.
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is still ongoing.