Poignant pictures that capture teenager’s final moments before he died
‘THEY MEAN THE WORLD TO US... I CAN’ T TELL YOU HOW HAPPY WE ARE TO HAVE FOUND THEM’
THESE poignant pictures are the last taken of a teenager with his friends the night before he was killed in a crash.
The stunning images of Ryan John Craddock and two of his pals were captured by a stranger on Barmouth beach.
The 18-year-old’s heartbroken family launched an appeal to track down the images on social media and, through its power, managed to find Hishaam Khan – the amateur photographer who took them.
Ryan’s mum, Sarah, spoke of how much the pictures mean to them as they showed keen footballer Ryan in his “happy place,” the evening before he was killed in a crash with a tanker on the A470 near Dolgellau on July 1.
His two friends in the image were airlifted to hospital with critical injuries.
Sarah said: “Ryan loved going to the beach with his mates and spent the weekend there from June 30 to July 1.
“He left Barmouth on July 1 at around 4.45pm to come home, sadly the accident happened just half an hour later and he passed away at the scene.
“We became aware of the photos about a week later when we visited the other two lads that were in the car.
“They told us that a stranger had asked if he could photograph them while they were walking along the beach, as they looked really happy.
“He said the photos of them silhouetted against the sunset would be lovely.
“The stranger took my son’s email to send them to him, but they didn’t come through.”
The family took to social media in a desperate appeal to track down the pictures, and, thanks to almost 5,000 shares, word got to Mr Khan who sent them on.
Sarah added: “The photos mean the world to us.
“I can’t express how happy we are to have found them.
“We are so grateful to Hishaam and everyone who helped.
“We found out that the photos were taken around 10.25pm on June 30.
“One day, I’d love to travel to Barmouth, as I am yet to see one of the sunsets Ryan loved so much.”
Hishaam Khan, a primary school teacher who lives in Birmingham said: “I take photo- graphs as a hobby and, when I saw the guys walking on the beach in the sunset, I had to capture the shot.
“I approached them straight away and showed them the pictures.
“Ryan gave me his email address and asked me to send them to him.
“I sent the email but it bounced back because the images were so large in resolution, so, when I re-sent them from work the next day, I never got a reply.
“I didn’t think anything more of it until my phone started going mad with messages and notifications from people who’d found them on my Instagram account after seeing the family’s appeal. “That’s when I was told what had happened to Ryan. “I was really shocked and saddened and was only too happy to send the pictures on to his family.” He added: “It was strange because, when I initially uploaded the pictures onto Instagram, I captioned the one of the lads walking away as ‘Gone.’ It’s sad to think how true that became.” Ryan, from the Cannock area of Stafford, died after the black Seat Ibiza he was driving collided with a HGV near the Cross Foxes pub in Dolgellau.
● A stranger, Hishaam Khan, took these photographs of Ryan Craddock (below) and his friends shortly before he was killed in a car crash