Exclusive: Ex-Gov Ryan says he prays for Willis children daily

SHARE Exclusive: Ex-Gov Ryan says he prays for Willis children daily

At 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, former Gov. George Ryan officially became a free man and opened up publicly for the first time about the tragic deaths of the Willis children — and how he prays for them daily.

“I am no longer on probation and am free to travel . . . and talk,” said Ryan, who was released from a five year stint in federal prison on corruption charges last year.

In an exclusive interview with Sneed, Ryan reflected on his future — as well as the 2008 deaths of six children of Scott and Janet Willis, which overshadowed his subsequent trial on corruption charges.

“It was a terrible, heartbreaking thing to have happened to the Willis family,” said Ryan, referring to the crash that killed six of Scott and Janet Willis’ children.

“As the parents of six children, my wife Lura Lynn and I could never comprehend the grief and heartache the Willis’s endured,” said Ryan, referring to a car accident which claimed the lives of the Willis children.

RELATED: Ex-Gov. Ryan regrets ‘killing that Greek fella’ ‘America’s Got Talent’ features members of Willis family

The Willis family van, driven by Scott Willis, children’s father, ran over a piece of steel fallen off a truck on I-94 in Wisconsin. Their gas tank exploded, engulfing their van in flames.

An investigation revealed the driver of the truck that dropped the piece of steel had received his license through a historically rigged testing system at the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, which Ryan once headed.

“Lura Lynn and I put them in our daily prayers then and that continues to this day,” said Ryan, who feels no responsibility for the death of the children.

CONTINUE READING AT SUNTIMES.COM

The Latest
While the Bulls made early calls on Durant after he demanded a trade from the Nets, the likelihood of KD putting on a Bulls jersey anytime soon remains more fairytale than reality. Not only do the Bulls not fit the trade profile for the star, but there’s some history there with Billy Donovan that doesn’t help.
Hunter, now sporting a new title, handles a dizzying array of duties — from managing the salary cap to assisting new players’ families — to keep the Hawks’ front office functional.
Now that his former wife is dating an old friend, he’s making false claims that the new boyfriend was her secret lover during the marriage.
On the eve of his first game as a head coach at any level, Eberflus comes in not as a dynamic savior but an old-school, driven football coach. And maybe that’s the antidote the McCaskey family has been looking for.
We cannot continue to succeed if one of our most important transportation corridors continues to fail.