Just because you’re a doctor, it doesn’t always mean you’re smart. Case in point, Dr. Frank Ryan, plastic surgeon to reality TV star, Heidi Montag, who apparently caused his own death because he was tweeting while driving. Dr. Ryan died on Monday after driving over a cliff while driving his Jeep on a small road in Malibu, California. News reports now say he was likely tweeting at the time of his death – paying more attention to Twitter than he was to the road.
But what was so important about Dr. Frank Ryan’s tweets? Was he answering an important question about plastic surgery? Dealing with a life-threatening problem back at the hospital? Had Heidi Montag’s latest plastic surgery taken a turn for the worst and he needed to rush back to her side? Nope. None of the above. Instead, what looks like killed him was a tweet about his dog, a border collie named Jill; a tweet that included a photo of the dog playing in the sand dunes.
Unluckily for Jill, the border collie, she was in the car at the time of the accident and went over the cliff with Dr. Frank Ryan. Luckily for Jill, she survived the crash. Unluckily for Dr. Ryan, the tweeting dog lover, he didn’t.
Honestly, as a writer, I know making fun of Dr. Frank Ryan’s death may seem callous to some. But, if you don’t make fun of such a foolish act like tweeting while driving, you’d simply have to be outraged.
For a man who was obviously as smart as Dr. Frank Ryan was, you’d think it would have crossed his mind for at least a nano-second that tweeting while driving was dangerous and that it could kill him or somebody else. Besides, as much as he loved his dog and wanted to show her off on Twitter, the photo and the cute comment could have waited until he got home.
To all intents and purposes, it sounds like Dr. Ryan was actually a very nice man. Although much of his plastic surgery work was with celebrities, he also found time to establish a foundation that removed tattoos from gang members completely free of charge and hosted camps for disadvantaged kids at a Malibu pony ranch. Friends and family have been all over the internet since his death with posts about what a wonderful human being he was. Heidi Montag, on Twitter, said “He was the most amazing person I have ever known. He was an angel and changed my life and the lives of everyone he met.”
Meanwhile, as Dr. Ryan obviously loved his dog, Jill, so much (who, by the way, suffered head and paw injuries in the crash), these are his final two tweets:
After 25 years of driving by, I finally hiked to the top of the giant sand dune on the pch west of malibu. Much harder than it looks! Whew!
http://twitpic.com/2fflev – Border collie jill surveying the view from atop the sand dune
Dr. Frank Ryan was 50 years old.
Celebrity surgeon Frank Ryan killed in crash – Washington Post