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Community gathers to honor the life of late Carthage JV football player Tyler Christman

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:15 PM EDT
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EVANS MILLS, New York (WWNY) - It was a sea of red at Evans Mills Raceway on Tuesday evening.

Hundreds of people from around the north country came together to remember the life of 14-year-old Tyler Christman.

Among those were teammates who grew up with him.

“I pretty much have known him since we played Pop Warner football a long while ago,” teammate Owen Nier said, “and we just grew up through sports and we started racing go karts and he was just a great kid.”

“He’s just one heck of a kid, he makes you laugh, no matter what he says,” Kayden Paquette said.

On Saturday, Tyler suffered a serious brain injury in the Comets’ game against West Genesee.

He was on life support until Tuesday afternoon when his family took part in what’s known as a hero walk, a ceremonial event to honor a patient before an organ donation.

Upstate Medical University confirmed Tyler passed away afterward.

“I took my time with him for granted, unfortunately. I’m going to miss him a lot. His laugh was very contagious, that’s all I can say, he was an overall good kid,” said Averi Cunningham.

Community members lit candles and came forward to offer prayer and stories about Tyler.

Evans Mills Raceway owner Peggy Gill recited a racer’s prayer for the up-and-coming driver.

“Someday we will leave God’s green earth, but never, Lord, will we leave our racing friends,” said Gill.

Members of the Carthage football team also came forward, embracing each other and chanting in good-old-fashioned football style.

Ending the night was a lap around the racetrack made by local fire departments with red lights glowing in the night.

A way to send off a life gone too soon.

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