Family of Man Killed in Fall From Top of Girlfriend's SUV Donates His Kidney to Friend in Need

The family of Ryan Minett (left) has donated his kidney to Andrew Dietz (right).
The family of Ryan Minett, left, has donated his kidney to Andrew Dietz, right. Facebook

The family of a Pennsylvania man killed when he fell from the luggage rack on his girlfriend’s SUV has donated his kidney to his best friend, who was in need of the life-saving transplant.

Police say Ryan Minett, 27, sustained fatal injuries on Friday after falling off the top of an SUV.

After Minett succumbed to his injuries at UPMC Presbyterian Saturday, his family decided to donate his kidney to his best friend and neighbor, Andrew Dietz.

“We were sitting there talking and it just clicked,” Minett’s father, Eric Minett, told CBS News. "I’m like, his buddy needs a kidney,’ and the people at CORE actually said, 'Well, we can check.'"

Doctors discovered Minett and Dietz, 27, were a blood type match and he went into surgery almost immediately. 

Dietz, who suffered from a rare kidney disease called FSGS, is now recovering.

“Truly amazing — the most difficult decision of your life, and you’re thinking of your neighbor, you’re thinking of a kid who’s in need,” Rob Dietz, Andrew’s father, told the TV station. 

Minett was killed while trying to stop his girlfriend from allegedly driving drunk to pick up her children, his father said.

"He was trying to do something very right by stopping her and she didn’t want to have any part of it," Eric Minett said.

Witnesses reportedly said Minett screamed to onlookers to "call 911" and "call the police" as he gripped the luggage rack. Minett eventually fell off the SUV and tumbled about 53 feet before hitting a light post.

He died Saturday from blunt force trauma to his head, torso and extremities. 

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office ruled Minett’s death a homicide.

Minett’s girlfriend, Jessica Ann Royall, 28, was taken into custody at her home. Police said she said she and Minett had been arguing.

As of Monday, Royall was being held at the Butler County Prison, online records show.

She was charged with felony assault, which is expected to be upgraded to homicide, according to reports.

According to Royall’s Facebook page, she and Minett had been dating for less than two months.

“To my one and only Jessica Royall love you deeply forever and always,” Minett wrote on Facebook on March 16. 

Royall was free on $10,000 bond on charges including overtaking a vehicle on the left, reckless driving, and being involved in an accident involving damage to a vehicle and personal injury stemming from a July 4 incident. She was due in court for that incident on Monday.

Royall pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug-related charges in separate cases in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties in 2016. She received sentences of one-year probation and three months to one year in jail, respectively, according to court records obtained by The Tribune-Review.

She announced on Facebook in August that she was going to rehab, writing: "I really don't want to ever let my boys or my family down ever again!!"

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