Trooper Ryan Albin remembered in Bellflower
BELLFLOWER, Ill. (WICS) —
Family, friends, and the Illinois State Police are mourning the loss of State Trooper Ryan Albin. The 37-year-old was killed after being seriously injured in a crash with a commercial truck in DeWitt County on Wednesday evening. Albin was airlifted from the scene to Carle Hospital where he died. The crash is still under investigation.
Trooper Albin is from Bellflower, a small town near Farmer City. Many residents of the town knew Trooper Albin since he was a young boy. The residents talked mostly about his infectious laugh and his kind personality. The tight-knit community, one that considers themselves more like a big family, says they are absolutely shocked by the tragic news.
"He will be missed," said Nancy Ellis, Trooper Albin's kindergarten teacher.
Everyone in the tiny town seemed to have a favorite memory to share.
"He was a bright fellow, pleasant to be around, good company," family friend Eve Springer said.
"His smile and his wonderful, funny laugh," Ellis said. "He had a laugh that was truly his own."
A three-sport athlete, a member of the Homecoming court, and a class treasurer, Trooper Albin was very involved at Blue Ridge High School where he graduated in 1998 alongside his twin sister Raeanne.
"My son was in the same class with many of his friends and I think most of those guys would say he was the life of the party," Ellis said.
Several spoke of his caring nature. He was a father to two young children and one who was always willing to lend a helping hand.
"I lost my wife a couple weeks ago, and I'm getting up there, and he just stopped and said 'I know it's probably difficult for you Lee, but at night if you want to go out to eat or something, call me up,'" Trooper Albin's neighbor, Lee Bidner, said.
Albin was a man who many considered to be the life of the party. They say he will be remembered for his love of life and contagious smile.
Dozens of Bellflower residents said they just weren't ready to appear on camera. After spending the day in Bellflower listening to countless stories, it's clear Trooper Albin will have a lasting impact on the community.