Ocean Springs resident mourns her son's death

By Jeff Lawson – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs resident Gayle Roberts still can't believe her son is gone. Ryan Roberts, 22, died Tuesday night, November 24th, when a car driving the wrong way on Highway 49 struck his car head on.

"He was a wonderful young man, he had a smile for everyone," his mom said.

That's how Gayle Roberts will always remember Ryan, who graduated from Pascagoula High and played in the band.

"He was the kind of guy that people liked because he was always positive," Gayle Roberts said, holding back tears.

Tuesday afternoon, Ryan spoke to his mom on the phone and said he would be driving home later that day. That was the last time Gayle would ever speak to her son.

"I said, 'Be careful honey.' And he said, 'Don't worry Mom.'"

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the call came that every parents fears will happen one day.

"My niece called and said Ryan has been in an accident," Gayle recalled. "I said, 'Is he hurt?' And she started crying and said, 'He is dead,' and I just fell apart."

At that time, Gayle felt like her world had come to an end. In 2005, the family lost their home to Katrina. Then last year, Gayle's husband died. Now her only child is gone. Gayle said she will get through this with the help of her faith and her friends.

Although she is grieving, she did this interview because she has something she feels every person should take to heart.

"To me the lesson is you never know what is going to happen in life, and try to most the most of all the time you have with your loved ones."

Gayle Roberts said that is how Ryan lived his life and she will always remember the son who was such a good kid. When asked to describe the son she calls her best friend, she chose the words gentle, loving, caring and shy.

Police are still conducting their investigation of the accident, but have said they do not suspect the man who hit Ryan's car was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They believe the man, a Tennessee resident, may have been confused when he drove the wrong way on Highway 49. He also died in the accident that claimed Ryan's life.

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