MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Friends of Ryan Lawson say he was an all-American kind of guy, a pleasure to be around. They say he was active in his church and his community, and that's how they plan to remember him.
Lawson died Monday morning after a horrific wreck the previous day on Highway 431 in Guntersville.
When we arrived at the Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department in Marshall County,
volunteers had just finished cleaning up Engine One to prepare it for solemn duty. The fire truck will be a part of Lawson's funeral procession.
James Harris worked closely with Lawson within the fire department, each watching the other's back.
"He was more like, by my book, one of my kids cause he was underneath me," said Harris, the Assistant Fire Chief. "I took him under my wing when I needed to."
"Know'd his whole family, live right close to 'em. Know'd him all his life," said Liff Daniels, an original member of the Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department. "Know'd his daddy and momma, his grandpas and grandmas on both sides, they're fine people. Ryan was a lot of help to the fire department. I don't go fight fires, I know'd him outside the fire department and here at the fire department. He was a lot of help and his whole family has always been a big part of Pleasant Grove here."
Throughout the communities of Pleasant Grove and Hyatt in Marshall County, WHNT News 19 spoke with a number of people who talked about Ryan and his family as if they were their family, too. So in these communities, there is a lot of grief for the loss of someone who was like family.