16-Year-Old Boy ID'd As Victim In Fatal Crash

View Map

A memorial now stands in the spot where a Colorado Springs teen lost his life Wednesday night, after his sister allegedly lost control of the SUV she was driving.

"RYAN...we love you!!!" the white cross reads, the statement punctuated by a yellow heart.

The tragic loss of life is compounded by the police department's announcement Thursday morning that Ryan Lanosga's 19-year-old sister is facing charges in his death.

According to police, Erin Lanosga, her younger brother and a second passenger were driving around Garden of the Gods park late Wednesday night when Erin lost control and rolled off the road. Erin and the other passenger only sustained minor injuries. But Ryan, who police say was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the back seat. He died at the scene.

Jake Lepak, a close friend of Ryan's, told 11 News another friend was driving behind Erin and Ryan, and witnessed the crash.

"My friend was behind them in a car and tried to push the car off of him. They couldn't get it done. He was there. I didn't believe it until I heard it from him and I was just in disbelief. Everyone is still shaken up obviously."

Erin has been charged with DUI, vehicular assault and careless driving. She bonded out of the El Paso County jail early Friday morning.

Several friends were at Garden of the Gods Thursday adding flowers to the memorial site. Despite the chill and the damp weather, most stood at memorial for 20, 30 minutes consoling one another.

One friend told 11 News Ryan was the type to "light up the room." Another friend told 11 News through Facebook that Ryan was "always happy."

"I loved that kid," Jake Lepak said. "Always smiling, never a dull moment with Ryan. He made me laugh more times than I can remember. He was the life of the crew...everyone loved Ryan. I can't believe he's gone."

Jake said the crash was a grim wake up call for him and his friends.

"Seat belts save lives. That's why the other two passengers in the car are alive and Ryan isn't. ... I'll never drink and drive...I'll never let anyone I care about drink or drive again. And wear your seat belt. It's a rule in my car already...you just have to put your seat belt on. And don't drive fast...take care of each other."