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’

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS - Kelly Wil­liams

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

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