Family to Host Helmet Giveaway After Son's Death

By: Lanetra Bennett
May 9, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - One Tallahassee mom will be spending this Mother's Day weekend giving gifts to others.

Her son recently died, and she's hoping to help protect other young people from the same fate.

Gail Simpkins says no one told her that if her 22-year-old son Tyler had been wearing a helmet while he was longboarding, he would be alive. But, she says she believes it could have made a difference.

She says, "Sudden, tragic--nothing in your life prepares you for this, to lose a child."

Tyler Simpkins went longboarding, which is similar to skateboarding, on March 22nd when he fell and rolled down an embankment.

He died two days later from the blunt force trauma to his head.

Mrs. Simpkins says, "We know Tyler well enough to know that's not what he considered living. We decided to go ahead and have the respirator removed and to donate his organs. Even though it's a tragic even for us, it was an opportunity to give some other family life."

The family says it also hopes to protect lives.

Tyler's mother, younger brother, and friend are preparing for a helmet giveaway that the family is sponsoring this weekend.

Not only are they giving away free helmets, they say they also want to educate young people on biking and skating safety.

His brother Brandon says, "I might not be able to get my brother back and I might not be able to put a helmet on him. But, if I can put a helmet on somebody else, that's just another person and another family that doesn't have to go through this experience."

The helmet giveaway is Saturday, May 11th at Tekesta Park in Killearn Plantation from 10am to 2pm.

An expert will be on hand to teach you how to put the helmet on properly. There will also be free pizza and music.

The event is in partnership with TMH NeuroScience Center, TMH Foundation, family and friends.

Helmets are free. However, any donations will benefit Tallahassee Memorial NeuroScience Center in memory of Tyler Simpkins.

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