Taken from April 7th publication of West News Magazine
By Dianne Platter
At approximately 2:50pm on March 19, 2010, Tyler Jacob Warne, 18, was killed when the car he was driving slid across the interstate, Highway Patrol Officials said witnesses reported seeing the car traveling northbound on the highway when it crossed three lanes to the right. Witnesses said the car then left the roadway and rolled down a grassy embankment, where the car flipped several times and hit a tree, police said. They said one witness also said the driver did not appear to apply the brakes during the incident. Police said that Warne was pronounced dead at the scene.
Warne participated in football, wrestling, and track at Parkway South High School where he received the Most Improved Wide Receiver award in 2009. He also was involved in other school activities such as the choir and Student council.
On March 22, Parkway School officials announced Warne’s death in a school morning announcement to inform students and encourage them to speak to a counselor. They also made available in the counselor’s office a large card for students at South High to sign for Warne’s parents.
The prior evening, approximately 200 students and Warne’s parents gathered in the South High gym to remember him, talk, share stories, and try to process what happened.
“Tyler was a very active student at South High, playing football, wrestling and track as well as involved in vocal music and DECA, where he made contributions to our school community with his talents,” said Gary Mazzola, principle at South High.
“Tyler also had an exceptional number of friends at South High and was cared about by many of his teachers and staff. He was a very spirited and welcoming young man who always had a smile for others. Tyler will be missed by many at South.”
This is one of the articles that were run in the local papers shortly after our son’s accident. This is a small glimpse of Tyler. Later we learned that his accident was a Drowsy Driving accident and that neither drugs, alcohol, nor wreckless driving were a factor in his accident.
Tyler’s accident may have been preventable had there been education regarding the dangers of drowsy driving. This was never a topic that we discussed as parents with Tyler. We discussed, drinking and driving, texting and driving, even loud music and other distractions that we were educated about, but we had never even thought about driving drowsy. We will never know if he had been educated and aware of preventing a drowsy driving accident if that would have saved his life but I am inclined to believe it just may have.
Our Family is now on a mission to raise awareness and education to prevent the loss of others. If we can save just one life, one family from losing a child or loved one to drowsy driving then my son did not die in vain. We can make a difference with your help. Please share our story, invite me to present, or learn how to prevent drowsy driving accidents. No one should ever have to experience this profound loss. We will forever have a hole in our hearts and in our family where our son will forever be missed. It is our sincere wish that you may never experience this pain. In honor of the memory of our son we will never stop educating and raising awareness to this serious but preventable issue.
With Love, Kerrie, Kyle, Austin and Sydnie Warne
I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude and thanks to the following people for their unwavering support, guidance and love, which inspired me and made it possible for me to find the strength to share our story and make a difference.
My Husband Kyle who never doubted me, My children, Austin and Sydnie, who are my strength and my inspiration to continue on this mission, Matt Uhles, Clayton Sleep Center, you started this whole journey for me and continue to support all my educational efforts including presenting by my side, Marcus Dewan, from Tivex, without you this website would not have been possible now we will reach millions of people, Stephanie Stemmler, Above the Fold, who worked so hard for all the media attention that has brought this important issue to everyone’s attention, Tyler’s friends, who are too many to name but you know who you are, and to all of our friends who have been by our side through every step of this journey! Finally, to my amazing son Tyler for making me a better mom and a better person you are so very loved and missed!