October 27, 2021

Teen dies from injuries sustained in Tuesday crash

(Franklin, GA) — A Heard County High School student injured in a single vehicle accident Tuesday morning has died.

According to his father, 16-year-old Philip Ryan Tatom passed away Wednesday afternoon at Atlanta Medical Center.

The teen driver was critically injured with severe brain trauma during the accident on HWY 34 east of Franklin.

Philip Ryan Tatom

Ryan had been in a coma since yesterday’s accident with very little response. His family is now awaiting the organ donation process as that was always one of Ryan’s wishes.

Ryan’s family would like to thank everyone in the community for the outpouring of love and support during the last 24 hours via social media and otherwise.

It remains unclear what caused the accident but reports do indicate Ryan was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.

According to GSP reports, his vehicle left the right side of the road as he was traveling eastbound and then crossed over the roadway and onto the left shoulder of the highway before crashing passenger side first into a tree at around 9:30 AM Tuesday morning about one half mile west of Enon Grove Road.

Everyone at Heard County High School is mourning the loss of the well-liked student and athlete. He was one of the top students in his class and was already dual-enrolled in higher level classes as only a junior.

One of his favorite teachers and tennis coach, Lindsay Stewart, spoke about Ryan in a statement late Wednesday after his passing.

“It is hard to explain how much talent and drive Ryan Tatom had to offer the world. He wasn’t just an outstanding athlete, and he wasn’t just a brilliant, hard-working student who took on more and more academic challenges — he was a life force,” said Stewart.

“You could see the passion he had for life in his smile and sarcastic humor, and I am forever thankful that I was able to teach and coach such an amazing, one of a kind person. We will forever miss seeing him waiting outside our classroom door for a daily chat and visit. And we will forever miss that infectious, often mischievous grin, in the hallways — but we will never forget it. I take comfort in knowing that he will be looking down on us from above and will always be there.”

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for the funeral arrangements when they become available.


  1. My heart is broken for Chuck and the family 😢

  2. Guanda Crustner Istre says

    So sorry for the lose of this young man,God bless his family,

  3. So so sorry for the lost. May God comfort you in such a sweet, strong way. God Bless this family.

  4. God touch this family in their time of need, he was being prayed for at our Bible study tonight. God hold them tight in ur arms.

  5. Pamela Dickinson says

    So sad to hear this.God bless his family, friends and loved ones.

  6. Pat Fishburne says

    Our hearts hurt for Ryan’s family and friends. We didn’t know him, but have fervently lifted him before our Lord when we heard of the accident. Praying for strength for the days ahead. God bless, Jeff & Pat Fishburne

  7. Jane duenckel says

    My heart aches for this family. Prayers for God’s peace in the coming days for his family & school classmates5

  8. Kelly Bloodworth says

    My sincere condolences to this family. My heart breaks for you all. 🙏🏼🙏🏼

  9. Teresa Clark says

    🙏🏻Prayers for this family losing a child is the hardest thing a person could endure!!

  10. My God continue to hold on to the Tatom family during this difficult time. I didn’t know Ryan but I do know his brother Drew and sister in law Cheyenne Tatom we work together with Hospice. My heart goes out to all and may each of you all find some type of solace for your precious loss. Keeping the family as friends lifted up in prayer.


  11. Christine Oneal says

    Prayers going up for your family RIP Ryan😇

  12. Angela Whitaker says

    I am so sorry to hear of his passing. Prayers for his family & friends.

  13. Ammaw Kim Ashmore says

    Praying for everyone that he has touched in his life, so young… God bless you all .

  14. Stanley Horsley says

    Has there been any arrangements made?

  15. Mary waters knight says

    So sorry for the family of this Dear Young Man. Praying for Youall !!

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