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It’s heartbreaking news to digest anytime we get word a Brunswick County resident has died suddenly or in a tragic way.
It’s especially devastating news when it’s a young person.
This week, people throughout the county are mourning the loss of 17-year-old Ryan Dilworth, the son of a Holden Beach police officer and 911 telecommunications operator.
Ryan was a junior at West Brunswick High School and was a member of the JROTC. He worked at Main Street Restaurant and Boomer’s Rentals of Holden Beach.
His death was the result of what appears to be a freak car wreck, where he went off the road and overcorrected before being ejected from the vehicle as it overturned.
The police report indicates there were no drugs or alcohol involved. Speed wasn’t a factor, however, Ryan wasn’t wearing his seat belt.
Now those who know and love him are reminding others to always buckle up.
“Buckle up for Ryan,” messages are circulating on the social network Facebook, where there is a push to remind people how important it is to wear a seat belt.
As the community mourns the loss of this young man, we can all do our part to honor his memory by buckling up and encouraging those around us to do the same. This is an important message year-round, but it’s also a good time to remind young people of this life-saving decision, especially with prom season and graduation around the corner.
And while you’re thinking about safety on the road, it’s also a good time to remember to slow down. This weekend various law enforcement agencies throughout Brunswick County will join the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office for Operation Spring Brake II, an initiative set up to target speeders and other driving violations. There will be a concentration of law enforcement officers on the roads this weekend looking to keep Brunswick County roads safe—something these brave men and women do all year long.
Coastal North Carolina is a great place to enjoy life and we know as tourist season moves forward, we’ll have more people on our roads and more people here looking to celebrate and have a good time. If you’re one of them, please remember how important it is to not get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.
If you’re planning a night out, make sure you have a designated driver lined up or look up the number for one of the area’s taxi services. You can go out, have a great time and leave the driving to someone else.
Stay safe, Brunswick County. Buckle up. Slow down and don’t drink and drive.