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cody packer
Reply with quote  #101 
Kevin was the best person i have ever known and even better than that, anyone and everyones best friend who would do anything for them.  Every day i wish he did not get into the truck of a person he admired as a jump buddy and friend. i have wished more times than not they were in texas because the piece of s who tried to show off his truck and made what happened happen, would be in prison for life! F you Fitts you god damn piece of s murderer. if anyone wants to contest or reply to me you can email me at or call me at 830-220-3402.
Reply with quote  #102 
One's life can be measured in many ways; how many other lives are touched, how deeply others are touched, not just a number of years. Your friend Kevin must have lived a great life in his short years. I hope you find peace, any use the power of his memory to do something great in your life for others- for him.
Ryan Fitts
Reply with quote  #103

7 On July 12, 2009, I made the foolish decision to get behind the wheel of my truck and speed down a back road while under the influence of alcohol. My decision cost my friend his life, grieved the hearts of his family members, and placed a burden on my own family they didn’t deserve.

There were four of us out that evening. We were relaxing after a long day of coaching and training at a local ski school in Louisiana. We left a local bar after hours of partying and headed back to school. We were less than two miles from our destination when I lost control of my truck. Fortunately, my friends in the backseat were wearing their seat belts and escaped with minor injuries. We weren’t so fortunate in the front seat.

Without a seatbelt to secure him in the vehicle, my friend was thrown from the truck and died from the impact. I survived the accident with a shattered pelvis, broken femur, and severely damaged bladder. I spent three months in the hospital, where I experienced fourteen surgeries, a skin flap, and skin grafts before I was transferred to jail. I served two years and eight months in five different facilities in Louisiana, then was released in March 2015.

To say I am grateful to be alive would be an understatement. I don’t deserve to be here. God didn’t give me a second chance when He spared my life that night. Truth be told, He had already given me hundreds of chances—too many to count.

My family and friends from the water-ski world can attest to that fact. As a former professional water-ski jumper, I lived life on the edge. I did things my own way without any rules. No one could tell me how to live. My goal was to have as much fun as possible. I lived with the throttle down and hung on to the controls.

Those who were close to me on tour would have been shocked to know that I have always had a belief in Jesus Christ. I grew up in a Christian family, and my faith was always within me. But I wasn’t following after God. Many times my family encouraged me to deepen my relationship with Christ and put Him first, but I had other things on my mind. I wanted to live life to the fullest. My stubborn desire almost cost me my life.

I am alive only by the grace of God and the diligent prayers of my father and mother, who never ceased to ask God to keep their wild child safe. They never gave up on me, no matter how far out on the edge I lived. Like the father in the story of the prodigal son, my parents welcomed me home every time with unconditional love.

The pain of the accident and the guilt of knowing that I am responsible for taking the life of such an amazing person as my friend has been a painful experience. I’ve learned the hard way that every choice we make in life inevitably impacts someone else. At times, I’ve wanted to rationalize my side of the story and share what was going on in my own life at that time. But the truth is, there is no justification. I’ve had to accept full responsibility for my actions. And in accepting responsibility, I have been able to move forward.

There is not a day that passes that I am not sorry for what I have done. I wouldn’t be able to bear it if it wasn’t for God’s forgiveness. Receiving— accepting—His forgiveness wasn’t easy in the beginning, but I had to receive it in order to move past my mistakes. I also had to forgive myself.

As much as I’d like to change the past, I can’t. There is nothing I can do except move forward in faith and make better choices in the future as a son, brother, friend, and now as a husband and father. I can also help others by sharing my story. Hopefully, they can learn from my mistakes.

By no means am I perfect; nor will I ever be. But I know that God can still use me. I believe He has kept me here for a purpose, and it is the desire of my heart to discover that purpose as I follow His direction.

I don’t know what the next chapter in my life holds. Being incarcerated has taught me the art of being patient. I’ve learned to relinquish the controls of my life and trust the Lord. I know that He will direct my footsteps and work all things in my life out for good…even the painful things. As a former jumper, I take comfort in knowing that God will always help me land on my feet, even when life seems to go upside down. Already He has taken this painful trial and helped me discover true life in Him.

I want to thank KOJ Ministries for being in continuous contact with me while I was incarcerated. It meant the world to me to have your support. The magazine, your letters, and the monthly devotions helped me face my trials and grow in faith. I often shared the magazines with the other guys in my dorm. They were passed around the whole compound. So many lives are touched through this ministry.

Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #104 
May the Lord Bless you Ryan!

Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #105 
Best of luck Ryan. Very difficult lesson to learn. Hope all goes well for you going forward. JB
Reply with quote  #106 
Minor injuries.  One of your friends in the back seat with those minor injuries now has a fused elbow, cant jump or slalom or do simple things like brush his teeth with his formerly dominant hand.  The list goes on.
It's sad you don't acknowledge their trauma and ongoing disabilities.
Reply with quote  #107 
God’s work (?)
Reply with quote  #108 
So much pain. Lesson learned but too late. It is awful, but there is nothing Ryan can do except try to help others the rest of his life. There's no going back. There's no fix. All the damage done ruined many lives, and affected many more.
Not anonymous, me
Reply with quote  #109 
If Ryan can do some good going forward, good for him.
Reply with quote  #110 
what are you doing ryan these days?
in my opinion you are having a nice life you dont car, new home..

u should have served the full 16 years
Reply with quote  #111 
Hold up here. 

This crash course starts years before it actually happens. It's a multi-level process.

Who was doing the parenting?
How is it that so many are in the truck, letting a drunk guy drive?
Where is check and balance?
How is it that the person even has wheels(the truck), with a history of recklessness?

And the night of:
The bar is serving these kids, making $ with every drink
The drunker they get the decision making ability goes out the window. 
That's what alcohol does. 
Who is looking after the patrons, as they spend their $, and the bar owners knowing full well there is parking lot outside, and drunks, keys in hand are inside?

So you can see to heap it all on one person, in this situation is unfair. 
It's a systemic network, that luckily I see has changed a lot - certainly for my kids generation.

Reply with quote  #112 
What is it you feel he deserves? 16 year? Or the 8 he got was not sufficient and the 16 would make all better. He would be out by now even if if was 16.. If you know the recidivism rate is 85% or higher. That is why most return at that rate. It’s not hard time for the inmate, but it is for the family. “Free Livin” AS they say and that is why 95% of them( inmates) are liberal/Socialist.
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