A family mourns the death of a young man who was killed in a car crash in Austin this past weekend.

A car driven by Madeline Rackle plunged into Lady Bird Lake early Sunday morning. Police officers who saw the crash pulled two young women out of the car, but they couldn’t save Ryan Whittington, 25, who was trapped in the back seat. The driver was charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Whittington’s father, Gary, a Corpus Christi native, says he’s not angry at the driver charged with causing the crash. Instead the family is focused on celebrating Whittington’s young life.

Just a week before he passed away, he took a vacation with his two sisters, mom and dad. Whittington was the eldest. Gary said they shared many special moments on that vacation. “We spent 2 1/2 hours at dinner together side by side and I’ll cherish that for sure.”

Whittington graduated from Carroll High School in 2005 and attended college at Texas State in San Marcos. He played tennis and worked for the United States Tennis Association, the reason why he was in Austin last weekend when he was killed in the fatal accident.

The Whittington family’s home is filled with friends, food and flowers. But still, there’s emptiness there.

“You just take it one minute, one hour, one day at a time and this is something that will last the rest of our lives for sure and there will always be a big hole in our hearts.” Gary said.

“I’m going to endeavor to eulogize Ryan on Friday and it will be the hardest thing I’ve ever done but God willing I’ll get through it and I will share some lighter moments of Ryan’s life and we’ll celebrate what was a great person.” He says he’s shed a million tears and there will be a million more, but he takes comfort in knowing his only son is in Heaven now with his two grandfathers whom he never got to meet on this Earth.

The funeral service for Ryan Whittington will be Friday morning at 10 o’clock at the Most Precious Blood Catholic Church.

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