Tyler Jarrell honored at Franklin Heights High School senior night

Published:
Updated:

It was a bittersweet moment on the football field for the mother of Tyler Jarrell, as she walked in his place on senior night.

Jarrell died in late July when the fireball ride collapsed at the Ohio State Fair. 7 others were injured.

Friday night was an evening Tyler was looking forward to his senior year and his classmates knew it.

"It's a climax for so many of our seniors to be able to walk across the football field," Captain Tom Lennon said.

About 70 student-athletes and senior ROTC members lined the field at Franklin Heights School Friday night.

Most of them walked down the 50-yard line with their families, but one mom clutched a picture instead.

Because her son couldn't walk on senior night, Amber Duffield did it for him.

"Just thankful. Just thankful," Tyler's mom Amber Duffield said.

Escorted by one of Tyler's mentors, Captain Tom Lennon, he and Duffield agreed they weren't alone on the field.

"I did not cross that field just with Captain. Tyler was with me. My slim. My baby," Duffield said.

The crowd cheered as Tyler's name came over the loudspeaker.

The Columbus Division of Police flew its helicopter over the football field and in the stands, a bubble release paid tribute to Tyler.

"Tyler would have been one of those walking tonight. He couldn't do it, except in spirit," Captain Lennon said.

The community knows what Duffield is going through. One of their own is gone. It's why they came to honor Tyler.

"It's humbling you know, to know still even three, almost three months out we have all this love still," Duffield said.

Even though Tyler wasn't able to celebrate senior night, his classmates will do what he can't and finish for him.

"We're very thankful. We thank you very much," Duffield said to the community.

Bracelets and bubbles for Tyler were sold at the game to raise money for a permanent memorial to be placed on school grounds.

Any additional funds will be donated to the school's ROTC.

The family of Tyler Jarrell set up a GoFundMe account to create a scholarship in his name.You can click here for more information.

COMPLETE COVERAGE >> Tragedy at the Ohio State Fair