By CHAD ABSHIRE
The Gilbert community came together Tuesday night, honoring the memory of a young man who was killed in a car accident earlier that morning.
A candlelight vigil was held at the old Gilbert High School football field for Tyler Hatfield, 17, of Gilbert, a student at Mingo Central High School.
Tyler was driving to school with his friend, Cody Carter, Tuesday morning. According to the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Arthur Farra, Hatfield lost control of his car due to a wet road mixed with excessive speed.
Tyler died in the ensuing accident and Cody was seriously injured. Cody was flown out to Cabell Huntington Hospital, where he remains in intensive care as of presstime.
Hundreds of friends and family attended the event, despite the rain that fell.
Tyler played for the GHS football team and wore a no. 10 on his jersey. Former teammates, friends of his, spoke to the crowd and recounted stories of their time together. The football team later presented Tyler’s parents, Michael and Patty Hatfield, with his jersey. Balloons were released in his honor, floating high into the sky until they disappeared into the clouds.
Many tears were shed at the vigil.
“There’s only one word that comes to mind when thinking of this great loss, and that is ‘tragic,’” Mingo County Superintendent Randy Keathley said Tuesday. “It’s hard to even speak about it. Losing a friend or family member is devastating to everyone, but when it’s the life of a young person who had so much potential and who left this world much too soon, it takes the grief to an entirely new level.”
The Mayor of Gilbert, Vivian Livingood, also spoke on Tyler’s tragic death:
“Our community is mourning the loss of a young man that was taken much too early. I cannot imagine the heartbreak his parents and family are feeling tonight,” Livingood said Tuesday. “May God comfort them in the days ahead as we all continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. Also, please remember Cody and pray that he continues to improve. Everyone hug your children tonight and tell them how much you love them.”
Tyler’s obituary is in today’s edition of the Daily News, on page 6A.
He was a son, nephew, cousin and friend to many. A junior at MCHS, Tyler was an honor student and athlete. He worked at Hardee’s in Gilbert and loved playing football. He was an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Friends may gather with the family at the Freedom Full Gospel Assembly House of Prayer at Hampden today from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Michael Tyler Hatfield was born January 10, 1995, at Logan, to Michael and Patty Kennedy Hatfield. He died May 1, 2012.
He was 17-years-old.