The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 2, 2013

Donations pour in for businessman

Family of injured funeral director touched by support

Frank Sojak

WINDBER — An effort to help a Windber funeral director who was injured critically in a motorcycle accident last month has raised more than $9,400 in just a few days, said a family friend.

Krista Cramer said the outpouring of support is a tribute to Joseph Ryan Dalla Valle, 33, who was hurt in the crash April 13 on Eisenhower Boulevard in Richland Township.

“Anyone who has known Ryan or his family knows that they would do anything in their power to help another person,” Cramer said. “That’s why so many people are helping.

“Ryan is determined to recover so that he can play with his two daughters, Emma (nearly 3) and Olivia (nearly 1) and get back to helping others and going to work.”

She said Dalla Valle suffered severe burns and doctors had to amputate his right arm and left leg.

The money being raised will go toward his medical bills and rehabilitation expenses plus prostheses for his arm and leg, Cramer said.

People can make contributions to help him through the national online fundraising website www.giveforward


People also can contribute by issuing checks made payable to Rally for Ryan Dalla Valle to Meek Funeral Home, 1312 Graham Ave., Windber, Pa. 15963.

Dalla Valle’s father said his son’s condition is improving.

“He has a long way to go but his life is out of danger,” Joseph Dalla Valle said.

When Ryan crashed, his motorcycle caught fire and the flames spread to Ryan, his father said.

A truck driver for Pepsi in Richland Township was sent home early because his truck was not fully loaded. He was descending Eisenhower and stopped to help when he noticed the flames, the elder Dalla Valle said.

“The man put the fire (on Ryan) out with his bare hands and then pulled Ryan away from the burning motorcycle,” Joseph Dalla Valle said.

“The man saved his life.”

Dalla Valle said the good Samaritan comforted his son while an emergency room physician – who lives at the bottom of Eisenhower and heard about the accident over his police scanner at home – and an ambulance rushed to the scene.

“It was amazing how everything fell together,” Dalla Valle said about those heroics.

He said the amount of support they are receiving from the community is amazing.

“We live in Windber, where the outpouring from the community has been phenomenal,” Dalla Valle said. “My son is on every church’s prayer chain.”

Strangers also are providing support, he said.

Ryan is a patient at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He originally was treated at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.

The family owns the Meek & Dalla Valle and Hugh W. Marron funeral homes in Windber. Ryan is the supervisor of the Marron home.


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