Stellar athlete, West Point cadet dies in motorcycle crash

Ryan Morgan, left, with his brother Nathan
Ryan Morgan, left, with his brother Nathan

By Bill Tamburrino

Ryan Morgan, considered one of the best student/athletes that Ramona High School has produced, died in Palomar Medical Center Sunday as a result of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident on Pamo Road in Ramona. He was 21.

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Morgan, a 2010 graduate of Ramona High School and a West Point cadet, was northbound on Pamo Road north of Burma Road when he was unable to negotiate a curve, California Highway Patrol Officer Brian Kattke reported. Morgan was the sole person on the motorcycle, a 2012 Yamaha R6, said Kattke, noting that Morgan was traveling at an unsafe speed for the descending roadway.

“The motorcycle went down the roadway and the driver was ejected from the motorcycle,” Kattke stated in his report.

Morgan, who was wearing a helmet, suffered major injuries and was transported by Mercy Air to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. He died in the operating room at 7:41 p.m., the medical examiner reported. The accident occurred at 5:50 p.m., according to the CHP report.

Morgan is survived by his parents, Rheynard and Mary Morgan, his mother Julie

Morgan, brothers Nathan Morgan and Kyle Snyder, and sister Kassondra Snyder.

In Bulldog football, he earned three varsity letters and was the varsity MVP and Offensive Player of the Year his senior season. During his senior year he also was first team all Valley League, All CIF, All North County, and was chosen to play on the Alex Spanos High School All Star Football Classic.

His track career was even more stellar than his exploits on the gridiron. Morgan earned four varsity letters. He was All Valley League, All North County, All CIF, and he

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advanced to the State Track Meet three times.

He was the 2010 Student/Athlete of the Year at Ramona High School.

However, his records and honors as athlete are not what Ryan Morgan was about. It was the way he played and prepared to play and compete that set him apart.

“His character, work ethic, and dedication were second to none and he got those characteristics from his father,” said Damon Baldwin, his football and track coach. “Ryan’s parents instilled in him from an early age that one has to work hard and be dedicated be successful. And to Ryan and his parents success was measured by realizing his full potential.”

“I played football with Ryan from the time we were both 7 years old,” said Erik Ernst, his teammate and friend. “Sure he had speed, but he worked as hard as possible to be the best that he could be. He did not try to get by on his speed. He tried to work his hardest to use it to his advantage.”

“We were like brothers,” said Justin Godes, his friend, teammate, and fellow cadet. “We played football together but our number one goal was to graduate from West Point. I am going to work my hardest to reach that goal for both of us.”

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