Teen killed in crash while fleeing Fort McMurray fires identified
Melonie Matthews-Ryan with her step-children. (Facebook./ Melonie Matthews-Ryan)
Published Friday, May 6, 2016 9:03AM EDT
The daughter of a Fort McMurray area deputy fire chief has been identified as one of the victims who died in a fiery highway crash Wednesday as she was trying to flee the fires.
Emily Ryan, 15, died when the SUV she was riding in on Highway 881 heading out of town crashed into a tractor trailer Wednesday afternoon.
The roads were crowded at the time with Fort McMurray residents rushing out of the city to escape the flames.
The other occupant of the SUV, who has not been identified, was also killed.
The vehicle burst into flames after impact, creating an inferno that sparked a new fire in the nearby trees. The crash caused a shutdown of the highway that lasted for hours.
Ryan was the daughter of Cranley Ryan, the deputy fire chief for the hamlet of Saprae Creek in Fort McMurray. She also had a triplet brother and sister.
The Fort McMurray Public School District confirmed that Ryan was a student at Fort McMurray Composite High School.
“She was a vibrant, engaging member of our student body," the school’s principal Kevin Bergen, said in a statement.
Ryan’s stepmother, Melonie Matthews-Ryan, also expressed her grief, posting photos of the family on her Facebook page.
“No words can be found, just precious memories. Please pray for our family today. Our hearts are broken,” she wrote in one post
“We need all of your love and prayers to get through. Thank you from Cranley and I and our babies.”