Mt. PLEASANT, Mich. (WJBK) - A freshman student from Macomb County was killed in a hit-and-run accident near Central Michigan University. It is yet another tragedy for the family, which has lost two sons in the past three months.
"He was loving and caring," says mother Julie Tsatsos. "He loved his friends and his family and would do anything for anyone."
And he did so to the very end, saving the life of girl in front of a speeding car. The parents of Ryan Tsatsos describe their son as a hero who lost his life to save another.
Ryan was walking with five friends early Sunday morning on Crawford Road in Mount Pleasant when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver going as much as 80 mph. The force sent him flying some 30 feet into a ditch.
A classmate with him who is studying to be a nurse helped him until emergency crews arrived.
"They heard the car; he pushed the girl right away," his mother saiys "I guess the car was going really, really fast."
Students have long complained about the area where the accident happened because it is poorly lit and there are no sidewalks. Since the car was reportedly speeding, also, it was hard for anyone to get a good description of the vehicle. Police are looking for a dark-colored older model four door with damage to the front end.
"Please come forward if you know anything - if you think you know sanything - tell police, tell someone, tell anyone," says his father, Paul Tsatsos.
Friends who adored the De La Salle High School football star and criminal justice major have since created a GoFundMe account to raise money for his family. Within hours, more than $16,000 was collected and that number is still growing.
"The outpouring of love and support is so touching," Julie says. "To know that people care and that he touched so many people's lives."
The family that is now dealing with tragedy for the second time since July. That was when Ryan's older brother Daryl was killed in a car crash that remains under investigation. They are the couple's only children.
"The same people were here when Darryl died are back here, some as early as 3:30 in the morning, within an hour of us hearing the news," Paul says.
A wind chime was given to the family right after that accident and is now helping to welcome the constant condolences into to their Macomb County home.
"Those [chimes] have been ringing louder than I've ever heard them ring," their father says. "To me, that's Darryl telling me again, 'I've got Ryan.'" A sign, perhaps, that these two brothers and best friends are together again and in peace.
If you'd like to make a donation to the family, you can do so here via a GoFundMe account.