Friday, March 21, 2014

Fundraiser slated for family of plane crash victim: Ryan Underhill left behind wife, children

Ryan Chester Underhill

 OKEECHOBEE, Fla. —The family of a man who died in an ultralight plane crash will remember him this weekend.

Ryan Underhill, 36, died at a hospital after the crash on the family's farm in Martin County.

Underhill's family said he lived not for work, but for his loved ones. They said people looked up to him and counted on him.

"If I could walk in my son's footsteps and stand in his shade, I would be, really, a man," his father, Edward Underhill, said.

Edward Underhill learned at his son's funeral that he wasn't alone in his feelings; many people turned out to pay their respects and express their sorrow to Ryan Underhill's wife and their children.

"He never met anyone that he didn't have time to stop and help," Edward Underhill said. "No matter what it was, he would help."

Ryan Underhill helped a lot of people with his knowledge of mechanical and electrical engineering. They were the same skills he used to get the plane up and running.

Victoria Trzeszkowski heard the engines cut out Feb. 23 with the plane just 100 feet overhead. She rushed out to see what happened.

"I was looking, saying, 'He's out there. He's checking to see what damage he did,' and as I got closer, I could see there was more than just a seat there, and I was just panicked," Trzeszkowski said.

But Ryan Underhill reassured her and even told her how to get him out of the wreckage. He would only say that it hurt, and she said she was sure they would see each other again.

"I ran back there to get him out from under the plane. He was conscious the whole time," Trzeszkowski said. "They rolled him out of here. I just believed he would be OK."

Ryan Underhill died at an Orlando hospital.

The family will hold a fundraiser in Okeechobee beginning Friday. For more details, call 561-358-2852 or 863-634-1084.


Ryan Chester Underhill 
(December 13, 1978 - February 23, 2014)

Ryan Chester Underhill of Okeechobee died February 23, 2014. He was born December 13, 1978 in Stuart, Florida to Charles Edward and Cynthia Underhill. A lifetime resident of Okeechobee, he was a cable installer and enjoyed RC hobbies and flying. He was a member of Christ Fellowship. He had the gift to build, fix and take care of many things including the land, dairy, anything mechanical and electronics. He was a devoted, father and son.

Mr. Underhill was preceded in death by his grandparents, Chester Underhill, Inez Underhill, Dorthe Chilcutt and Booth Chilcutt.

He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Carla Underhill; son, Chester Underhill; daughter, Haylie Underhill; father, Edward Underhill; mother, Cindy Underhill all of Okeechobee; and brother, Aaron Underhill (Jessica) of Palm Beach Gardens.

Visitation will be 2 p.m. until services at 3:30 p.m. Friday, February 28, 2014 at Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to his children’s trust fund at Bank of America.

Those wishing to leave a message of condolence may sign the register book at,

All arrangements are entrusted to the direction and care of the Buxton, Bass and Conway families of the Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home, 400 North Parrott Avenue, Okeechobee, Florida, 34972.