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Ryan D Maseth


North Hills native and one of the Army’s elite soldiers was killed in Baghdad in an accident that his family is struggling to comprehend.

Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Maseth, 24, died Wednesday from cardiac arrest caused by an apparent accidental electrocution, according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

Maseth has a twin brother, Brandon, who is a Ranger deployed to Iraq with the 82nd Airborne, and a younger brother, Andy, 21, who also is in an airborne unit.

Their mother, Cheryl Harris of Cranberry, always has known that her sons might get wounded or killed — but not by a faulty water pump.

Doug Maseth was told his son was electrocuted in the shower but there are no other details. Maseth says he’s devastated.

While he waits for answers, he’s making arrangements for Ryan’s twin brother, Brandon, to come home at least temporarily.

“I don’t want to lose another boy,” Maseth said. “Who wants to lose one? I don’t [want to have] the chance of losing two.”

Right now, the loss of Ryan is all he can bear. “I’m heartbroken,” he said. “I watched him from when he was born all the way up ’till now and I just … turned into a good young man – taken away so fast.”

“You don’t expect your son to step into a shower and get killed,” she said.

Maseth said his son was a fun-loving guy who enjoyed hunting and biking and had a wide circle of friends.

“You would like him as soon as you met him,” Maseth said. “He was never in a bad mood.”

Harris said her son succeeded at everything he attempted.

“Ryan was very ambitious, goal-oriented and motivated. Ryan always had himself in some kind of school,” she said.

A Shaler Area High School graduate and varsity wrestler, Maseth joined the Army in June 2001. He was a Green Beret serving with Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). His military education included airborne, air assault, ranger and special forces training.

Douglas Maseth, who served in the Marines, said his son surprised him when he enlisted because he always had talked about going to college.

“He lived a good life, but he lived a short life,” Douglas Maseth said. “I’m going to miss him.”

Ryan’s portrait is also located on Poster 6

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