ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- When tragedies happen in our community, some are bound to hit close to home. Unfortunately, this is one of those times.
The Winnebago County Coroner’s office released the name of a man who died Friday night from injuries he received in a vehicle accident in Boone County.
41-year-old Ryan Hoskinson of Rockford was traveling on U.S. Business Route 20, just west of Van Epps Road near Belvidere, when his vehicle left the road and rolled. He died a short time later at an area hospital.
Ryan is part of the WIFR family - the only son of our local sales manager, Nella Hoskinson, and the father to two young girls.
A well-respected personal trainer at FitMe Wellness in Rockford, Ryan was also a stand-out football player at Boylan High School in the mid-1990s. His talent for football earned him a spot on Carthage College’s team in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and as a member of The Rush, a semi-pro team based in the Rock River Valley.
One place where Ryan touched the lives of many, was at the Fatherhood Encouragement Project. On Monday the leader of that project tells 23 News he had to do something to honor Ryan's life and service to his community.
Danial Petrie said Ryan started attending Fatherhood Encouragement Project events about a year ago. Danial says Ryan's lovable, authentic and transparent personality had an immediate and infectious impact on the organization.
Danial says Ryan's dream was to create a gym that would help folks recovering from addiction, and he wanted to name it the Phoenix Gym. Petrie says that's the reason the organization decided to create an award for next years Fatherhood Encouragement Project awards banquet dinner, called the Ryan Hoskinson Fatherhood Phoenix Award, which will go out to a father who has overcome addiction in some way.
"The dads of the Fatherhood Encouragement Project just loved Ryan," says Petrie. "They loved him, because he served so selflessly and he just had such a big heart and he impacted all of us. And it's an emotional week obviously, losing someone like that. It's important to have vision and dream. Dream big. And Ryan certainly did that. And so what an opportunity it is for him to be able to share that vision and dream with us at the Fatherhood Encouragement Project, and us then to carry on that legacy for his mother and his two beautiful daughters."
Known for his big heart and big hugs, Ryan will be missed by many in the region. Our hearts go out to Nella and Ryan’s daughters at this time.