COLUMBUS (WCMH) — There were many tears Thursday at Tyler Jarrell’s grave.
The Franklin Heights highschooler would be at Marine basic training right now. He died one year ago Thursday when the Fireball ride broke apart in the air on opening day of the Ohio State Fair.
A balloon release and memorial service was held at his gravesite at Greenlawn Cemetery Thursday.
His mother, Amber Duffield, comes to her son’s grave every day. On the one-year anniversary of the accident so did his girlfriend, Keziah Lewis.
It was a difficult and emotional day, but it was also the day for a miracle.
Lewis said she didn’t plan to leave her wheelchair in the car as she pulled up at the cemetery, but that’s exactly what happened. She walked, with the help of Tyler’s mother and her own mother, to his grave. She’s been forced to use a wheelchair since the accident that left her with a broken neck, back, hip, pelvis, shoulder, and wrist.
It’s a surprise that made the balloon release that much more special.
“Absolutely, I visit every day. I let him know that there was going to be a party at his house today,” said Tyler’s mother Amber Duffield.
A celebration of Tyler, the young man who dedicated his short life to helping others.
“He would have been a fine, fine Marine. He had a passion for service as you’re well aware he believed in service before self,” said Captain Gerard Lennon, Jr., Tyler’s ROTC teacher.
Keziah didn’t want to talk, but she sent her own private message up to Tyler in a balloon.