Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Was Plastic Surgeon Texting in Car Before Fatal Crash?
Dr. Frank Ryan and Heidi Montag
Frazer Harrison/Getty; Pacific Coast News
Dr. Frank Ryan, plastic surgeon to Heidi Montag and other celebrities, was sending a Twitter message about his border collie just before his fatal car accident, his ex-girlfriend tells PEOPLE.
"He lived up in Malibu on a tiny street and he was texting while driving and he accidentally went over the cliff," Charmaine Blake says.
Blake, a celebrity publicist, says Ryan's family was told by investigators that the Tweeting caused the wreck on Monday.
The dog, whose name is Jill – Blake's middle name – was in the car at the time of the crash and survived injuries to the head, eye and paw.
The California Highway Patrol confirms Ryan was texting before the crash, but investigators have not officially determined the cause of the accident.
"It is one of the elements that we are investigating," CHP Officer Steven Reid says.
Blake says she lived with Ryan from 2003 to 2006. After breaking up, they remained close and Ryan was also helping support her, says Blake.
"It was the only serious relationship I ever had and he was the love of my life," Blake, 29, says. "It was hard for us to stay away from each other."
She adds that she hopes other people learn from this tragedy that "people should not text and drive at all."