Former Onset man killed in crash will be remembered by many

Jul 16, 2014

Shortly before 10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9, 29-year-old Ryan Levangie of New Bedford lost control of his motorcycle while traveling on Rt. 140 north in New Bedford and crashed into the tree line. Levangie was pronounced dead at the scene.

While Levangie may be gone from the world after his fatal motorcycle accident, his memory lives on in the outpouring of support from friends and family in the days following his death.

His passing came as a shock to many, with the incredible display of support from the community serving as evidence to the many lives Levangie touched.

Local musician Grace Morrison went to school with Levangie, graduating Wareham High School with him in 2003.

"We met in the third or fourth grade I think," said Morrison. "I remember he was my very first crush."

At the recent Incorporation Celebration in Wareham, Morrison sang a cover of Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You" in Levangie's honor. Since then, she has written a song for Levangie, tentatively titled "One of the Angels Now." Morrison said she drew inspiration from the many posts to Levangie's Facebook page in the wake of his death so that the song is, "a reflection of the things people were saying about him."

"He was just a very friendly, uplifting individual. He would still message me from time to time to see how my music was doing and every time I saw him he had a big smile on his face."

Morrison said the Class of 2003 is planning on coming together to donate some money to a memorial in Levangie's honor. Once she records the song, proceeds from its sale on iTunes will go to the memorial fund.

Jeramy Packard, one of Levangie's best friends from school, said he will always remember the strength of Ryan's personality.

"He had this strength about him that not many people have," said Packard. "He always used his strong personality to make people feel comfortable, and feel accepted."

Packard added that Levangie always used his strength of character for good, and "to make other people feel better and more comfortable and happier in their own lives."

"He never stood for anybody putting anybody else down," said Packard. "If he ever saw anything like that he'd always put a stop to it right away."

"He was an amazing kid," said T.J. Normandin of New Bedford, who knew Levangie through his cousin. "He was friendly to everyone he met and always made people laugh."

At the time of his death, Levangie was working for Precision Concrete as a concrete pourer.

"He was so good with his hands," said Packard. "He was so mechanically inclined. My parents always thought and his parents always thought that he would eventually invent something."

Packard said that he and Levangie had always been in contact for the past 23 years, since they met in first grade at the age of six. Through middle and high school, he, Levangie, and their core group of friends always stayed together even when life pulled them apart. Levangie frequently visited his close friends and their families up until his death. According to Packard, Levangie visited him just days before June 9, and that Levangie was set to be his Best Man at his upcoming wedding.

"We always stayed in touch," he said of Levangie and all their close friends, "the same way that you would stay in touch with a family member that you moved away from."

"You just always have that bond where you know that person is never going to be truly out of your life."