AUSTIN (KXAN) - Even as he prepared to lay his son to rest, Gary Whittington said he is not angry.
Instead, he wants to remember Ryan, who died last weekend at age 25 when he was trapped inside a car that went into Lady Bird Lake, as a decent young man who loved life and his family.
"I'm going to endeavor to eulogize Ryan on Friday and it will be the hardest thing that I've ever done," Gary Whittington said. "But God willing, I'll get through it. And I will share some lighter moments of Ryan's life and we'll celebrate what was a great person."
His son, he said, "was any parent's dream."
Meanwhile, the woman who drove her car into Lady Bird Lake last weekend is out of jail on bond, but being tracked closely. Police say Madeline Rackley, 25, was drunk when she caused the deadly accident.
A judge ordered Rackley to wear an ankle bracelet to measure her blood-alcohol level, plus have a breathalyzer with a camera installed in her car. She is charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Police rescued Rackley and front passenger Danielle Martinez from the water.
But Ryan Whittington, 25, was in the backseat of the two-door car and did not survive.
"It's just hard to get a grasp on," said Danny Garcia, Whittington's best friend. "I'm just mainly in shock still. It's like a dream that you can't wake up from."
Garcia and Whittington met in college while playing tennis at Texas State University in San Marcos. It didn't take long before they became close off the court.
"We'd just chill, play some games, hang out, play tennis, go back to my house," said Garcia. "We'd play a lot of ping pong, we were very competitive against each other -- in everything we did."
They eventually moved in together and were roommates in San Marcos the last three years.
"It's just weird sitting at the house hearing the garage open but it's not him, hoping it's him and it's not. Waiting for the door to open, him come in," said Garcia.
Whittington worked a tennis tournament in Austin on Saturday and invited Garcia out for dinner and drinks, but Garcia was too tired to go.
The next day friends shared the horrible news about why Whittington never came home.
Austin police say he was in the backseat of Rackley's car when she drove down a boat ramp into Lady Bird Lake thinking it was the Interstate Highway 35 on-ramp.
Two police officers jumped in and rescued the two women who were sitting in the front, but when they turned around to save Whittington who was still trapped inside, the car was completely underwater.
"The first thing I thought of was if I had gone to Austin I would have been driving," said Garcia.
But Garcia does not blame himself or the driver. He said she has been over his house a few times.
"It's just a horrible, horrible thing that happened," said Garcia. "They had no bad intentions whatsoever. They're nice girls, just made wrong decisions."
Whittington's father offered a similar assessment.
"No one forced my son to get in the car," said Gary Whittington. "I'm thrilled the two women survived."
In his heart, he believes his son helped save them.
Ryan was also close to his two sisters who are both students at the University of Texas.
His family will cherish the time they just spent together on a vacation in San Diego, California -- one of Ryan's favorite places.
Services will be held at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church , 3502 Saratoga Blvd., Corpus Christi.
Visitation is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday with a rosary service at 7 p.m.
The funeral is at 10 a.m. on Friday.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.