LSU identifies driver in fatal LaPlace crash

LSU sent out the following news release on Ryan Russell Gibbs:

The LSU community is mourning the loss of Ryan Russell Gibbs, a graduate student in English who died on Feb. 10 from injuries suffered in a tragic car accident in New Orleans.

"The LSU family was saddened to hear about the passing of Ryan Gibbs," said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin. "This is a great loss to the LSU community, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and everyone he touched in the English department."

Memorial services for Gibbs will held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd., Amarillo, Texas. Gil Lane, pastor of Paramount Baptist Church, Amarillo, is officiating. Memorials may be sent to the creative writing graduate program at LSU.

Gibbs, a resident of Baton Rouge, was born on Sept. 5, 1981, at High Plains Baptist Hospital in Amarillo, Texas.

Gibbs was a Renaissance man. His passion in high school was music. He loved the piano, played drums and percussion in his high school band, and spent a summer touring with the Blue Knights Drum Corp from Denver before graduating in 2000 from Plainview High School in Plainview, Texas. With the intent to major in percussion performance at Baylor University, his interests changed to business, and he graduated from Baylor in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, majoring in real estate and minoring in entrepreneurship.

After graduation he worked in Austin for a few months before deciding to return to undergraduate studies at Texas Tech University to pursue a degree in writing. His studies at Texas Tech included spending two semesters studying abroad in Seville, Spain. Gibbs graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a perfect GPA from Texas Tech University in 2009. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English as a creative writing major with a double minor in Spanish and psychology.

As a Master of Fine Arts graduate student at LSU, Gibbs served as the graduate assistant for The Southern Review for two years. He also taught English composition and a fiction workshop as a graduate instructor for the English department. In his final semester of study, he was writing a screenplay for his master's thesis. In addition, Gibbs was one of the premier photographers in Baton Rouge. His website,, highlights his work.

Gibbs loved reading, writing, watching movies and sports, playing golf, fly fishing, listening to music, playing trivia and chess. He skydived over the Alps in Switzerland and snorkeled among the coral reefs in Jamaica. His life was full and meaningful. He deeply loved his family and friends. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Gibbs is survived by his parents Russ and Vicki Gibbs of Bryan/College Station, Texas; his grandparents, Marion and Jennie Gibbs of San Angelo, Texas; his grandmother, Tady Heiskell of Amarillo, Texas; his aunt, Jamie Johnson of Canyon, Texas; his uncle, Steven Heiskell of Amarillo, Texas; his uncle George Heiskell of Vancouver, Wa.; and numerous cousins, along with a host of friends.

The LSU Student Health Center offers grief counseling and appointments can be made by calling 225-578-8774.