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Friend will remember Ryan Ferrari for his honesty and reliability

Original post made on Dec 2, 2009

Ryan Ferrari, the 21-year-old Woodside man who died in a car crash early on the morning of Nov. 28 in the Woodside Hills neighborhood, will not be forgotten by those who knew him. "I think, above all, Ryan was a great friend, a high-quality person who is just going to be tremendously missed by friends and family alike," his friend James Ronstadt told The Almanac in an interview. "We still can't believe he's gone."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 11:25 AM

Comments (44)

Posted by Father of 2
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Dec 2, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Why, oh why did you need to add this final line to the lovely article?

"I always knew he was a very risky driver, which is why I wasn't surprised that this happened," he said.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I didn't know this young man, but I will miss him. My daughter died at the same age. I know the pain his family and friends will endure. He will always be in my prayers.

Posted by A mom and friend
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 2, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I completely agree with the father from Portola Valley. What a dumb statement to add to the end of this article. And not on James' part (he is grieving and obviously was fearful for Ryan) but on the part of the Almanac writer. I am utterly dismayed at the lack of discretion Mr. Boyle used in an otherwise heartfelt tribute to James' friend, Ryan.

Posted by take your blinders off
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 2, 2009 at 8:29 pm

I understand the inclination to want to put the best face on someone who dies tragically. I tend to do it myself. But come on, people, pointing out that this young man was a risky driver in an article about his death in a driving accident is not unwarranted, especially when all indications point to risky driving being the cause of his death.

And don't forget, even though the other driver and his passenger who became unwilling participants in this tragic event weren't killed, they could have been. Ryan's risky driving could have cost others their lives as well as it cost him his. Why is Ryan's tendency to drive recklessly wrong to point out in the context of this reporting?

Posted by Diamos Family
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Our Prayers are with you

Posted by Kathy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Why in God's name is this person even going there with the last statement of his commentary! How unclassy and reckless of you.
What a horrible way to make the family feel worse than they
already are experiencing!!! You need to retract your last sentence. Have a heart!!

Posted by Colin John
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Dec 3, 2009 at 12:11 am

Agreed the last line was NOT necessary. Ryan was a friend of mine. I will miss him...



Posted by Who are you to say!
a resident of another community
on Dec 3, 2009 at 12:54 am

What don't you leave the critique out. Everyone thinks they know; all you know is the stars were not all aligned for Ryan on that night. Could of happened to any of your kids who you think are angels.

Someone gave James Ronstad an open mic and he obliged, let me speak for Ryan, as you have chosen to do for him; your no friend of his. Your young and dumb and talking up some story of you actually knowing something that any dummy can say after the fact.

I meet you James Ronstad and you can act like you Ryan's friend...

And to all those dumb concerned parents that your teen is exercises better judgement than anyone else's kid, your wrong. Ryan's passing is an obvious example of what can happen. He lost his life, yes, and you can learn something from that. That speaks for itself if you have half a brain.

What do you need to point out about an obvious cause and affect

Posted by Kevin Fox
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 3, 2009 at 2:19 am

R.I.P. Ryan you will be missed.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 3, 2009 at 6:07 am

None of us is perfect and we all say things that could have been phrased better or not said at all.

A friend's clumsily worded tribute or a reporter's decision to include it is really the least of this terrible tragedy.

Posted by Guzzo
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 3, 2009 at 11:42 am

My thoughts and prayers go out to Ryan and his family. Rest in peace

Posted by marie
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Dec 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I agree with everyone else. He made his point across and that would have been
sufficient without having to add insult to injury with that last line in his statement.
Though I do not know the young man my prayers and thoughts go out to his

Posted by M Thompson
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm

My Prayers are with the whole family and friends of Ryan.

Posted by MA Graduate '06
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Although I did not know Ryan very well, I cannot stop thinking about what a loss this is for our community. He was a beautiful, kind, and funny person. The last line of the article should not focus on his alleged "reckless driving", but on the fact that a young life was stolen. We have all taken risks in our lives, it is part of being young and being human. Ryan deserves better than this.

Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Dec 4, 2009 at 1:23 am

Take...blinders off: the other driver was booked on a DUI. The article does not state if that was a contributing factor to the accident, but I would not be so quick to call them "unwilling participants".

Posted by Gaffney
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 4, 2009 at 7:51 am

"The loss of one's child leaves a heartache no one can heal, the love for him leaves a memory no one can steal."

My deepest sympathy.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 4, 2009 at 9:40 am

"Someone gave James Ronstad an open mic and he obliged, let me speak for Ryan, as you have chosen to do for him; your no friend of his. Your young and dumb and talking up some story of you actually knowing something that any dummy can say after the fact.

I meet you James Ronstad and you can act like you Ryan's friend..."

The real question is: who are you to say? Your post came at 12:54PM yesterday, smack dab in the middle of Ryan's eulogy, some friend you were! Peddle that B.S somewhere else, cause it wont fly here!

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 4, 2009 at 10:24 am

Anon, resident of another community:

The report notes that the driver of the other car was not the cause of the original accident. This driver was simply driving in the opposite direction and ran into the wrecked car that ended up on his side of the road.

Yes, this second driver was DUI and was arrested (as he should be), but he didn't cause the original accident. None of us have "blinders" on, we just read the article a bit more carefully.

I hope our children can learn from this awful tragedy... I'm only sorry the Ferrari family is paying such a high price. My heart goes out to them.

Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Come on people..Can we at least have the respect to allow this family to grieve before the trash talk begins......

I pray I am never in the position this family is in.

Posted by Melissa
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 5, 2009 at 9:57 am

The last sentence was not necessary. Ryan was not at fault for this accident, the other driver who was drunk was....

Posted by Helen Ferrari (Ryan's Mother)
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 5, 2009 at 10:29 am

I lost my Beloved Son Ryan who was the most beautiful child on this Earth! He is gone now and will miss him tremendously. This article came to me attention yesterday. This wasn't even a friend of his but someone he knew in the past from High School and even then they never hung out. "Where did this reporter get this Kid from and why he was interviewed on My Son Ryan's behalf I don't know yet! Ryan's grieving best friend David Vallarino Called James last night and gave him "Hell" demanding an apology To Ryan's Family and should be a public apology as well. Please let my Family have peace!!! This reporter should be fired! If he needs any help With sensitivity Classes just go to the Mental Health Board. In this lifetime there are those that get it and those that don't. He obviously is with the DONT'S. Thank You to all of you that have Posted your concern's For My Beautiful Child Ryan, you all GET IT. God bless Ryan's Mom HELEN

Posted by Geoff
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2009 at 10:34 am

Helen, Steve, Neil, and Kevin - My thoughts and prayers stay with you - you guys have the biggest hearts ever and dont deserve this. I love you all

Posted by Hadrien Trempont
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2009 at 11:16 am

Ryan was a great guy with the biggest heart. We were best friends since the 7th grade and I was able to see a side of him not many people knew. James slipped out one comment he regrets sooo much and the damage is done. The Almanac needs to be more responsible with finding better sources. They should have looked in the memorial pamphlet and found myself the pallbearer for my best friend. I would have told you the pure truth about Ryan Ferrari's amazing characteristics and maturity, instead of focusing on the irrelevant.
Now that the damage is done, lets please stop the news articles and trash talking. Allow his family to grieve in peace and lets please support them for my best friend Ryan.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of another community
on Dec 5, 2009 at 11:34 am

To Melissa's comment first: The young man arrested with the DUI is not at fault. This has been stated all along. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. This tragedy happened on a dark, winding, slightly damp road, where the driver lost control of his vehicle. Hitting the other vehicle was the last thing that happened. There are other contributing factors and details but they do not need to be repeated any more!

To the Ferrari Family: No words can express the sadness felt at the loss of your son/brother/nephew/grandson/cousin. My prayers are with you.

To the writer of the article: Shame on you for including the last line.

Posted by James
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2009 at 8:16 pm

I am SO SORRY I said anything about Ryan being a risky driver. I became very emotional half-way through the interview and instead of ending it there, I stupidly carried on and blurted out something I've since come to deeply regret. I simply wanted to paint an endearing image of Ryan, something that should have been done with immense ease thanks to the warm soul he truly was. I had hoped to grant at least a freckle of serenity for the grieving, and I am having trouble even coming to grips with the fact that I've failed to do so. Ryan was a great person and I wanted to rest of the community to know that. It breaks my heart to know that I have caused even more heartache than what has already been exhibited upon all of us.

-James Ronstadt

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm

That was a very classy thing to do, James.

We all make mistakes, especially under stressful times.

Please put this one behind you...

Posted by Thanks James.
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Dec 5, 2009 at 11:03 pm

James, you are exactly what every father and mother would like to have as a son. You are a standup guy, a very honest soul with a high degree of integrity. We certainly understand misplaced words, and everyone on this blog should understand it too. You're going thru a very difficult time, it should be understood by all of us. Thank you again for your kind words, and we wish you well.

Posted by Dominique Trempont
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 6, 2009 at 9:55 am

Why do you have to end an article on someone's funeral with "I always knew he was a very risky driver, which is why I wasn't surprised that this happened," he said. Have you checked on this? Is this the thing to remember Ryan with? Have you even thought for a second how it feels to read such a statement if you are his father, mother, brother, sister, friend?

I did not realize that our community newspaper cannot demonstrate the most decent respect to a family and to friends in mourning. How would you feel is I published hearsay on my blog that defamed your daughter who just got killed in an accident?

God forbid that we may have a tabloid thrown on our doorstep every week: as far as I am concerned, it will fly in the trash can.

You better present your deepest excuses to the Ferrari family.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of another community
on Dec 6, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Dominique -

James Ronstadt wrote a very sincere apology. Why can't you just accept it?

Posted by annoyed
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Why don't all you people call this what it irresponsible act of drinking and driving and add to that reckless driving. Thank God the only one killed here was himself and not some innocent family driving down the road as typically happens in these type of incidents. Sad...but true.

Posted by Almanac= piss poor journalism.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I want this to be the last blog, from someone who loved Ryan very much. Everyone has either a mother, father. Brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, loved one, ect. Before expressing your thoughts think about what it would be like to lose that person and think about his family and friends. The trash talking ends here..

Posted by appreciative
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Thank you, James. I hope your words help people who are grieving heal a little more quickly.

Posted by Commander McBragg
a resident of another community
on Dec 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I will remember him for losing control of his car, colliding with two trees and another vehicle, flipping the car and then dying of his injuries. Very sad, but obviously a result of poor driving. There's an extremely valuable lesson there, and I thank the witness and the reporter for giving me the truth, not some watered-down feel-good pap.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2009 at 11:12 am

Yes, honesty is better than fake sainthood. Of course he is loved and missed. But for those of us who didn't know him, what stands out is his reckless driving and the reports of him being DUI, as well as our relief he didn't take anyone with him.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 7, 2009 at 11:59 am

Can we show a little respect and sympathy for a family that is enduring unspeakable pain? Everyone is aware of the factors that led to this terrible accident and no one has suggested sainthood.

There will be plenty of time for the teachable life lesson. This is a time for sympathy for a grieving family.

Posted by David Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Dec 7, 2009 at 12:28 pm

David Boyce is a registered user.

There is, as yet, no information as to whether Mr. Ferrari was under the influence of alcohol. That information would be forthcoming about six weeks from the date of the incident in a toxicology report prepared for the county coroner.

The driver of the other vehicle, who was not injured, was arrested by deputies of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office on DUI charges.

Posted by teen parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 7, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I sure hope that the family's friends are supporting them and helping them out, and that family members are not reading these boards looking for comfort. Because I disagree with anonymous: this is a teachable moment.

* Parents need to reinforce the folly of drinking and driving with their kids. Set a good example. Make yourself available, at any hour, to come get your kid, or make sure that your child has a back-up plan (friend who's a designated driver.)

* Kids need to keep tabs on their friends. If you're out drinking and someone is clearly too sloshed to drive, don't just shrug and figure the odds are good that s/he'll make it home okay. The odds are good, but the risk is also substantial.

Not trying to point fingers (except at the Almanac editors...seriously!) but just as the Palo Alto community attempted to learn better coping techniques after the wave of teen suicides, we should use this tragedy as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of being extra vigilant when it comes to drinking and driving. Wallowing in grief achieves nothing; let's do what we can to prevent a repeat of this accident.

Posted by MA class of '09
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I have to admit I never got the pleasure of meeting this young man, however; I have heard legendary stories of him since I can remember. He was always a legend in my book, with his decision-making and truly big heart. These are all things I only heard since I never got the chance to hang out with him, but in many peoples' books, he is a true Menlo Legend.

Posted by Hmm
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm

The purpose of this board is to express one's opinion, not express sympathy, unless that is one's opinion. A number of posters have strongly decried drunk driving, which reliable sources have said were contributing factors in this crash. It was a selfish, stupid and criminal thing to do.

Posted by no name
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I went to High School with Helen and Steve - Ryan's parents. The last time I saw them was in a video store about 10 yrs ago. They appeared to be the happiest people on earth. I never got to meet their son Ryan, but having raised two girls to be woman, my heart hurts so much for Helen, Steve and the rest of their family. I keep picturing how happy they were and how much this has and will change them forever. I believe Ryan is in heaven and that his family deserves to remember all his good qualities - because this is how we are able to get through the grief process. Helen and Steve (and your family) - you are beautiful people and I believe that Ryan is in a good place and that he is your angel. I feel like crying just knowing how it must feel to have the waves of realization that your beloved son and child is no longer here. I send you hugs and love and hope that you will see Ryan again one day. Helen - good for you giving hell to a community of evil people who want to comment just to have their minute of recognition. God Bless all of you!!!

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Teen parent -

You make an excellent point and I agree with you.

My objection is to the public villification that is taking place on this site. Ryan made a horrible mistake and he and his family are paying dearly for it. There is no need for others to pile on that family with postings that are cruel.

Yes, it is a good opportunity to let others know the price they may pay for similar actions and your suggestions were excellent.

Posted by Jonathan Abramson
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Ryan was a good friend of mine some years back and although we grew apart I remember him for being loyal, mature beyond his years, and for having as much fun as just about anyone I have ever seen. The fact that this board is becoming a heated forum for debate is just completely inappropriate. I beg those who read this article to look past its errors (the last line has no place and is simply bad journalism), and think about this wonderful family who lost a son. There is literally nothing worse, and I feel like residents of a community as educated as ours should understand that- God bless the Ferrari Family, and Ryan, you will never be forgotten

Posted by Tets
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Dec 8, 2009 at 7:19 am

Ryan is menlo legend, I say we construct a plaque. He is a strong man: always true to his character. I have heard many great stories of how he has helped his friends through troubled times and have only seen the best sides of him. I have no idea how this has happened to him before me, that's just ridiculous. I'll probably see you soon Ryan, if they let me up there!

love you buddy xoxox

Posted by Mary White
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I was one of Ryan's advisors at Menlo College and my son was a friend of Ryan's. I am devastated by his passing and I know his many friends suffer greatly from the loss. Although I know their pain will last a long time, I hope his parents and family will take comfort from the many wonderful memories of Ryan's life, his ideas and his positive impact on others, including me.

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