Family looking for answers after son dies in hit and run

Posted at 10:30 PM, Aug 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-06 23:28:34-04

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—A young man from Coopersville hit and killed by a vehicle a little before midnight on July 25th, and weeks later authorities are still looking for the driver involved. Desperate for answers, his family and friends are speaking out tonight hoping whoever is responsible comes forward. 24-year-old Travis Ryke was walking near Arthur street and 24th avenue right around midnight. Authorities say he’d gotten a ride from a customer at Champs Sports Bar, and was just around the corner from his home when he was hit.

Detectives are working hard to come up with answers for Travis’ family and friends, all of whom are still left wondering why no one stopped to try and save their loved one’s life. However, the family says they aren’t angry, they just want to forgive.

“I wake up sometimes, and I say ‘this isn’t real,’” said Terri Holmes, mother of Travis Ryke.

The reality for Terri Holmes is that she’ll never get to see her son Travis get married, have children, or fulfill his dreams.

“Everybody knew Travis was a bike guy, and he knew he wanted to open up a shop called ‘Rykes Bikes,’” said Holmes.

People who knew him best, like his church pastor, say his personality was infectious.

“He knew enough to say I love you to you. He would always say, ‘I love you’. Whenever he left he would say that, and he did it with everyone. He loved everyone, and he loved life,” said Wesley Devris.

Instead Terri was forced to bury her son, and she says his time came too soon.

“It’s one of the most devastating things you have ever gone through, losing a child. Then to have it happen tragically where someone just left him, is even more devastating,” said Holmes.

Travis’sister, Jennifer Hintz, is searching for closure. She said not knowing who did it, or how it happened makes it even harder to move on. She says the only way she can get closure is if the person responsible steps forward.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department says despite residences being along the way where Travis was hit, they can’t find any witnesses so far.

“To that case and point there’s a residence adjacent to where Travis was found by the deputy, who heard absolutely nothing until the sirens of the emergency responders went off,” said Captain Mark Bennett.

Bennett says public information is crucial especially in this particular case if they want to solve it. Now, the Sheriff’s Department in conjunction with the family are now offering a one thousand dollar reward for information that can help solve the case.

“It’s not going to bring him back, but it’s going to bring some peace and comfort,” said Holmes.

19:13:19 it's not going to bring him back, its going to bring some peace and comfort.

Travis’ family said his ride through life was too short, and they’re praying for one thing.

“Hopefully we will have an answer,” said Holmes.

Travis’ family and friends are organizing a fundraiser called ‘A Ride in Paradise’. The event will be a bike ride on August 16th, and all the money raised will go towards buying new bikes for kids who aren’t able to have them, and a portion of it will go to send kids to church camp, two things that Travis loved the most.  You can find out more about the memorial ride on Travis Ryke Memorial Ride Facebook Page.