AUBURN, NH (CBS) – Keith Ryan, Jr. was a father of three young children, and was the oldest of triplets.
The 41-year-old Manchester, NH resident was killed Saturday afternoon when the snowmobile he was riding through a park in Auburn, NH, hit a rock. His son, 9-year-old Aden, was on board as well, and survived.
“The throttle ended up getting stuck, and they hit a rock and Keith threw himself and Aden off of the snowmobile and Keith ended up landing chest down on a boulder,” said Krista Pagliarulo, Keith’s girlfriend.
Investigators say the snowmobile went 72 feet in the air before ending up in a brook.
Pagliarulo says she tried CPR on Ryan until paramedics arrived.
Family members, while thankful Aden survived, are grieving the loss of his father.
“He’d help anybody, anybody,” said Charlene Ryan, Keith’s mother.
Aden is recovering from a broken leg.
He credits his dad with saving his life because Ryan threw him into a “nice pile of fluffy snow” when the snowmobile went airborne, according to Pagliarulo who witnessed the crash.
Aden’s mom, Pam Ducharme, while grieving the loss of her ex-husband, is grateful her son is alive.
“He’s doing very well and we’re thankful his dad was able to save him,” Ducharme said.
Both were wearing helmets and Ryan was familiar with the trails, but it was his first time taking the kids out for a ride.
Keith, who worked as a lineman for NSTAR, leaves behind many family members, mostly in Massachusetts.
“All those memories, it’s like a bond,” said Kimberly Parolisi, Keith’s sister. “There’s a bond broken that can never be filled again.”
Along with Aden, he had two daughters, 15-year-old Celena and 11-year-old Savannah, who were present at the crash.
Family members also credit a witness, Christine Papciak, with helping them moments after the crash.