Times West Virginian
Students at Fairmont Senior High School wore camouflage Friday to honor a member of the Polar Bear Nation who died earlier this week.
Ryan Gross, 19, of Fairmont, died Wednesday morning after a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 79 south of the Goshen Road exit.
A release from the West Virginia State Police said that a driver of a 2014 Peterbilt truck merged into the left lane of traffic shortly before 10 a.m. near mile marker 145 and caused the driver of a 2011 Hyundai Elantra, later identified as Gross, to crash into the truck’s rear.
The Hyundai overturned, coming to a stop in the median. Gross was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital Wednesday morning, where he was pronounced dead.
Gross graduated from FSHS in 2012, and principal Tyson Furgason asked students to wear camouflage Friday to honor Gross, who was an avid hunter and loved the outdoors.
Gross was working as a laborer for the Garrett Mine Service.
He enjoyed going to concerts, and was an avid Davisson Brothers Band fan. He also enjoyed playing his guitar, camping at Big Bear Lake, hunting, fishing, watching West Virginia University football and playing Xbox.
Over the past few days, former classmates and friends and even those who did not know Gross took to texting and social media to express their grief.
A text message was forwarded throughout the county and beyond on Wednesday when word started to spread of the fatal accident. Messages on Twitter and posts to Gross’ Facebook page expressed grief over the loss of the young man.
“When things like this happen it always makes you think of how easily it could have been you. RIP Ryan Gross you were a good man.”
“Rest in peace Ryan Gross.”
“RIP Ryan Gross. We weren't close at all but losing a classmate is never easy. Prayers for your family.”
“I always considered you a wonderful child of God. Now that He’s holding you I'm sure he couldn’t agree more, Ryan. God bless you and your family. You’re in the safest of hands now.”
Gross will be buried today following a funeral service at Frey Home for Funerals.