Emaleen Bridger recalls her older brother, Ryan, showing off the small laptop computer he had purchased and talking about how much he loved it.
She was crushed to see that laptop, along with a toque that Ryan wore, at the site where her brother’s SUV ended up on its roof following a head-on collision near Rosetown, Sask. on June 10.
Ryan, 30, was among four people who died as a result of the collision.
He had been driving an SUV that crashed into a vehicle that was attempting to pass a transport truck on Highway 7. He was travelling with his father, Barry Bridger, 56.
Both worked for Copeland Seed, a grain mill in Elrose, but Ryan had lived in the Abbotsford-Mission area for his entire life until 2010.
Barry is still in hospital recovering from a shattered hip, some broken bones and head injuries.
Three occupants of the other car were killed: driver Douglas Janzen, 47, and his two daughters Allie, 19, and Cassidy, 13, all from Sorrento, B.C. A 42-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy from that vehicle remain in hospital.
Ryan initially survived the crash, and his sister Emaleen said he hung on until she and other family members made the 17-hour drive from B.C. to Saskatoon.
“He will be missed very much. It was a shock to get the phone call that he had been in a tragic accident that already cost three people their lives,” she said.
He grew up in the area, attending Mission Secondary and working in the siding industry in Abbotsford for a few years. He moved away in 2010 when he had difficulty finding work in the Fraser Valley.
Ryan, who was single without children, found work as a grainer at Copeland Seed, and lived with his dad in Saskatoon.
Emaleen said Ryan enjoyed the outdoors and snowboarding, and loved his two dogs, Shadow and EasyE.
In addition to his dad and Emaleen, Ryan is survived by his mom Jan Gatzke, stepdad Ken Gatzke, sister Wendy Bridger, his niece Brooklyn and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
A celebration of life takes place Sunday, June 24 at noon at the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans Club, 30346 McNeil Ave. in Abbotsford.