• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Parents express their grief over loss of 11-year-old son

The parents of an 11-year-old Georgetown boy, who died in a two-car crash in Woodford County, expressed their family's grief during the sentencing of the Frankfort man who pled guilty to causing that collision in the early morning hours of July 12, 2015. Ryan Moore and his family were going on vacation when William Cody Mefford disregarded a red traffic light at the intersection of Frankfort Road (U. S. 60) and Midway Road (U. S. 62), causing fatal injuries to 11-year-old Ryan, and injuries to his parents and 9-year-old brother, Toby. "He was only 11 years old," said Lydia Moore of her oldest son. "He wasn't finished yet. We weren't finished yet." She said her younger son lost his big brother - and his best friend that day. "We are a broken family," said Lydia Moore. "...Your choice to drive down that road on July 12 in your condition took the light and love of our lives." Mefford started serving a 12-month jail sentence on March 1 after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter, three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid, possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor), possession of marijuana (misdemeanor) and disregarding a traffic control device (violation). The remainder of a 20-year prison sentence was suspended for five years. Mefford must also complete 250 hours of community service annually while on probation. "Every day that you spend in jail, an hour that you spend in community service is a minute we would gladly take with our Ryan," said Lydia Moore. "We hope that influences every single choice that you make throughout your life." Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lee Greenup described the death of 11-year-old Ryan Moore as a tragedy. "It was avoidable. And the sentence recommended reflects the fact that we believe it was an avoidable situation," he said. "Ryan is not here to speak. But his parents, Troy and Lydia, are." Lydia Moore described her son Ryan as a friend to everyone, who never wanted anyone to feel left out. He once filled his pockets with peppermints to give to his friends at church, she said. "Ryan was smart. He was so smart," she continued. "He loved to read ... He made good grades in school. He really enjoyed science. He loved the outdoors." She said Ryan earned his hunter safety "orange card" so he could go hunting, "but he never got a chance to use it." Lydia and Troy Moore said all of their son's hopes and dreams - their hopes and dreams for him - were lost on July 12, 2015. Troy Moore said he and his wife will never get to experience their oldest son's first day of middle school or high school, his first date or first kiss, his first car or his first job. "We are going to miss every future moment with Ryan - all of his success and failures," said Troy Moore. "I wanted to be there for him no matter what. By his side just as I stood there in the hospital on July 12, 2015 ..." Before Troy and Lydia spoke about their loss and grief, Mefford told the family "how very sorry I am any of this happened," but he and his attorney both acknowledged that there were no words that can change what has happened to this family. "Nothing I can say would possibly express the sadness of this situation. No comments I can offer by way of explanation or even apology can change the sorrow and the pain that I know many people are feeling over this," attorney David Guarnieri said. "All I can do is pray for your family, and for God to heal you as time goes on," said Mefford. "Words cannot describe the pain I feel for your loss. My heart breaks with each passing day so I pray for God to ease your pain." Woodford Circuit Judge Paul Isaacs described the case as "a very tragic situation - one that the court does not want to have to preside over, but is required to. I hope that it brings some closure to the family (of Ryan Moore), and I hope that it will provide you (Mefford) a way with moving forward with your life in a more constructive manner."

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