MYTON (ABC 4 News) – The small community of Pleasant Valley is mourning the death of Ryan Harvey, the man who was killed in a head-on crash on Highway 40 Tuesday morning.
Lifelong friends of Harvey’s gathered at his farm Wednesday afternoon, sharing memories about how he made them laugh.
“He was someone that you could go to at anytime and he would have a joke or something to say that would lighten up your day,” said Stoney Monks, who knew Harvey since they were students at Myton Elementary.
“He’s a character. If he had an opportunity to tease you, he would. He would look for ways to make you smile,” said Richard Ross, who said their families have been close for generations.
His friends said Harvey was more than just a good friend who would go out of his way for other people. He was also a farmer, pilot, entrepreneur, but most importantly, a family man.
When his aunt needed a ride to a doctor’s appointment in Provo on Tuesday, Ross said he didn’t hesitate to step up.
“What he would say is, ‘The roads may be bad, but it doesn’t matter. She has an appointment.’ Ryan was adamant about taking her and that’s what he did,” said Ross.
According to Utah Highway Patrol, a red pickup truck lost control in foggy and icy conditions on Highway 40 Tuesday morning, veered into oncoming traffic, and hit the GMC that Harvey was driving in with his aunt. He died at the scene.
“Unfortunately, another driver’s poor decision to operate a vehicle with bald tires and speeds too fast for these conditions has taken someone else’s life,” said Sgt. Nick Street with Utah Highway Patrol.
Reese Carter, manager at Big O Tires said ever since the state stopped requiring safety inspections, more drivers are taking the risk with bald tires.
“People really don’t care if their tires are bad as long as it passes emissions, they will drive it for another year,” said Carter.
Tragedies like Harvey’s are an alarming reminder of how important it is to take the right safety precautions for winter driving conditions.
“Strawberry is known to be a bad area for driving. It always has been for everybody in the basin who had to travel to Salt Lake City in the winter. Slow down. Take your time,” said Monks.
Monks said news of Harvey’s death has hit their town hard because of how close and tight-knit their community is.
“Growing up as neighbors, we always expected the other person to always be there,” said Monks. “But now that he’s gone, it’s a real blow to the stomach.”
Harvey leaves behind his wife, Nicole and two daughters.
His family declined an interview, but said his aunt has minor injuries and is expected to live.
***On-air report incorrectly identified Reese Carter as the manager of Discount Tires. A correction has been made to the online article.