By: Shane Riggs - Staff Writer


It’s been seven years since Ryan Moore was killed in a train mishap on a railroad crossing near his home.

But that time hasn’t lessened the pain for his parents, Vicky and Denny Moore, only renewed their efforts to make railroad crossings, like the one Ryan was killed on, safer.

The crossing, on the border of Wayne and Stark counties, was marked only with a crossbuck. Using money from a lawsuit settlement, the Moores created Angels on Track Foundation. That money has funded the upgrade more than 20 crossings in Stark County and surrounding areas.

Despite the good they’ve done, the hurt still is there. And the tears still come when the Moores mention Ryan’s name and speak of his death.

“It doesn’t get easier,” Vicky Moore said. “Sometimes, it feels like it just happened.”

On Monday night, Navarre honored the couple and their foundation’s efforts, dedicating a plaque in memory of Ryan near the Wooster Street railroad crossing.

“This is very special to us because this is the first public recognition other than letters. This is the first permanent type of structure anyone has ever done,” said Vicky Moore.

The village memorial reads in part: “(Ryan’s) memory will live on by protecting the lives of all those who travel across these tracks.” Ironically, the memorial has been erected where Wooster Street crosses Ryan’s Ridge.

The 127-year-old crossing received its first warning lights and gates in July because of a grant from Angels on Track.

Village Council attended the service which was punctuated by solo performances from Bobby Benson, a Christian music artist and son of Navarre Mayor Bob Benson, who read a proclamation signed by council.

“The village of Navarre is grateful and considers it appropriate to place this memorial,” the mayor said. “I speak for all officials and citizens when we express appreciation. Only the Lord knows how many lives have been spared because of Angels on Track.”

Vicky Moore’s parents also were present at the dedication. Bonnie Leidig wore an open locket around her neck containing her late grandson’s photo.

“I think it’s just so precious that someone has done this,” she said.

Vicky Moore said it was an event of mixed emotions.

“This is a very emotional day for my husband and I and a very proud day for the foundation,” she said. “We are very touched by the village’s proactiveness. We are very grateful to this community for taking action before anyone was killed.”

According to foundation information, only 20 percent of public grade crossings in the United States are equipped with gates and lights, and every 90 minutes an accident or an incident involving a train and motor vehicle occurs.

The village of Navarre has eight active railroad crossings.

With the Wooster crossing complete, it brings the village total to four that have lights and gates.


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