Arrow-right Camera

Spokane

Hundreds hold vigil for bicyclist Ryan Holyk

Sun., June 8, 2014, midnight

Hundreds gather for a candlelight vigil Thursday at the corner of Sprague Avenue and Vista Road to remember Ryan Holyk who died from injuries suffered when he was hit by a Spokane Valley patrol car on May 23. (Dan Pelle)
Hundreds gather for a candlelight vigil Thursday at the corner of Sprague Avenue and Vista Road to remember Ryan Holyk who died from injuries suffered when he was hit by a Spokane Valley patrol car on May 23. (Dan Pelle)

According to his friends, 15-year-old Ryan Holyk was the best friend everyone wants to have: caring, considerate and always trying to cheer people up and make them laugh.

Sabrina Flores, 16, dated the West Valley freshman for a month earlier this year.

“He just has one of the biggest hearts ever,” she said.

Holyk became aware that one of his friends didn’t get much for his birthday recently. “He went and bought him surprise tickets for a concert and promised to take him, but then this happened,” she said.

Holyk died Wednesday nearly two weeks after being hit by a police car while crossing Sprague Avenue at Vista Road on a bicycle on May 23. Witnesses said the police officer had the green light and swerved to try to avoid Holyk, but hit his bike. The Spokane Police Department is investigating the collision. Nearly 200 teenagers and their parents packed the corner in front of Charlie P’s on Thursday for a candlelight vigil in his honor. They wrote farewell messages in his yearbook and shared stories.

His sister Katie Holyk, 14, said her brother could be annoying, as older brothers often are, but that he looked out for her. He was also known for being quirky, shouting out random words to get people to smile.

“Out of nowhere he would say ‘llama’ or start meowing,” she said. “If he got mad at a video game, he would just start meowing really loud.”

On Facebook, Holyk’s mother described him as her “terror.” It’s a description that made Sarah Kreiger smile. She had known Holyk since the sixth grade. “He could be a little devil sometimes,” she said.

His mother, Carrie Thomson, kept people updated about her son on her Facebook page and on a Facebook page devoted to Holyk’s friends and supporters. She wrote of her elation on May 28 when he opened his eyes and was able to respond to questions. She also wrote of her pain when he had a stroke on May 31 and had to have emergency surgery.

“We lost our fight tonight and had to remove Ryan from his ventilator,” she wrote Wednesday. She said the family was donating his organs.

His obituary was posted on Facebook on Saturday.

“Ryan had many plans for the future including working for the summer to earn money for a car, and trying to find a way to inherit Bill Gates’ empire” it said. “He was always willing to work hard for what he wanted and was full of new ideas, some of them not so appealing to his mother, but ingenious nonetheless.”

Holyk’s funeral is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. June 14 at Millwood Presbyterian Church, 3223 N. Marguerite Road.



There are 15 comments on this story »