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The release of "A Cross in His Pocket"  


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Cross in His Pocket, A: The Spiritual Journey of a Teenage Boy from Life into Eternal Life with the Lord Jesus Christ
Erin Melissa Durham
A Cross in His Pocket is an inspirational book for those who are struggling with the loss of a child. The death of your child is a devastating blow, a hole is cut from your heart, and you feel it, literally. It’s a hurt that cannot be described, only felt. Nothing will ever take away the pain and emptiness you will feel at some level for the rest of your life. Good memories will eventually bring smiles through the tears; regrets about what you could have done differently may creep up on you at times. It is a constant struggle. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a gift, a promise of eternal love and security, a hand that will reach out to you every time you fall to keep you from hitting rock bottom, an ever-present spirit that surrounds you like a warm, fuzzy blanket on the coldest winter day. I know that if I did not have the Lord Jesus Christ in my life, the death of my 15-year-old son would have been my demise. The Lord prepared my son in many ways prior to his death for what was about to take place. He also made sure that after Tyler’s death we were assured that my son was carried to his eternal home with his savior. My son did not lose his life that night; we lost ours. He just moved onto his perfect life!

Softcover [$14.95]



This is a book I wrote about Tyler's spiritual journey just prior to his death. It has been a work in progress for over a year now, but it is finally complete and available to purchase. Its a short read, less than 100 pages but it is a detailed account of the phenominal experience my son had just prior to his tragic death. If you are looking for answers to questions why? If you are need of comfort, or just the reassurance that God is in control of ALL things-this is a must read for you. It also introduces faith to those who may have lost it, or maybe never had it. Through all of my pain, grief, anguish and overall desperation since my son's death-I know that The Lord had his hand in Tyler's graduation to Heaven on 8/19/06, on that dark road, and I know that Tyler knew in some sense that his time was near and he made sure that we would know without a doubt that when he left us that night, he was lifted up by the arms of The Lord and taken to his eteral home-where he will dwell there with The Lord for eternity. I hope you will buy this book, and enjoy the comfort that The Lord Jesus Christ can and will bring to us through any and all trials and tribulations this life brings us.

This book is available through the following:

www.publishamerica.com

www.amazon.com

 

All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated directly to childrens charities. St. Judes Children's Research Hospital, and the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Thank you and God bless!!

 


"Tyler's Law"-Keeeps Torch Burning for Andrew Tyle  
Tyler's law is now in effect after a Dacusville mother took up the torch in memory of her 15-year-old son, Andrew Tyler Durham.


"My husband and I, my entire family are overjoyed at the fact that we have a new law that's named after our son," said Erin Durham, Tyler's mother. "I think it's a legacy for him."

State Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, said Tyler's law sets fines for parents and legal guardians who knowingly and willfully permit their dependants to operate vehicles without a permit or license or in violation of permit or license restrictions.

Fair, who sponsored the bill, said he knows the Durhams personally and said they asked him to help.

He said the hope is that it will help other families avoid similar tragedies.

"Being a parent, grandparent, it just is another weapon ... in the ongoing war with family members about why young people ought to do right anyway," Fair said. "It offers another encouragement to obey the law for young people."

Durham said the law's passage is bittersweet for her family after losing Tyler in a single-vehicle wreck in 2006, when the car in which he was riding went off the road and hit a tree.

The driver, who was a juvenile at the time, was charged with driving too fast for conditions and violation of restricted driver's license, according to Sid Gaulden, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

Now Durham said she hopes people will think twice before making irresponsible decisions about driving or allowing their children to drive vehicles in violation of the restrictions on their licenses.

"Accidents happen, and they can have devastating effects on not only that family but many, many people," she said.

Tyler had started his sophomore year at Pickens High School days before the fatal accident. He was always happy, smiling and full of energy, Durham said. He loved sports.

"We feel very hopeful that this law will potentially save many lives," Durham said. "Up until Tyler's law there was no law that held the parents or guardians accountable, responsible in any way for the actions of their underage children for driving vehicles."


"Tyler's Law"  
'Tyler's Law' Memorizes Young Car Crash Victim
By Michael Campbell
Staff Writer
Updated: July 9, 2008, 10 a.m.

DACUSVILLE — Tyler Durham was just 15 years old when he died in a car crash one August night in 2006.

His life ended on Little Pond Road in Dacusville, but his story continues two years later with the passage of legislation imposing a fine on parents or guardians who allow underage drivers to operate a motor vehicle without a valid license.

Young Tyler, a junior varsity football and baseball player for Pickens High School was attending a back-to-school sleepover and pizza party when a 15-year-old friend offered Tyler and another friend a ride around the block in his new Mercedes.

He was a passenger in the backseat when the young driver lost control of the car, which left the road and hit a group of trees. Tyler, who was the only one wearing a seat belt, died from blunt force trauma to the chest and head.

The driver had just gotten his restricted drivers license and was driving more than three hours after the 8 p.m. curfew when the accident happened.

After an investigation lasting several months, the driver of the vehicle was charged with “driving too fast for conditions” and “driving past curfew,” paid a small fine and was docked two points off his drivers license.

“We were astonished when we found this out,” said Erin Durham, Tyler’s mother. “We also learned that the parents of a minor could not be held liable for allowing a minor child to drive past curfew.”

Tyler’s parents and his grandfather, Bill Batson, began pushing for legislation to protect other children and their families from experiencing similar unnecessary tragedy.

Batson contacted S.C. State Sen. Mike Fair, who was a high school classmate who authored the legislation recently signed by Gov. Mark Sandford.

That new law makes parents more accountable for their children’s actions behind the wheel and institutes penalties for parents who knowingly allow their teenagers to violate drivers’ license restrictions.

The accident that claimed Tyler’s life happened just a block away from a baseball field where he often played. This baseball field, located at 183 Shoals Creek Church Road in Easley, has been named the Andrew Tyler Durham Memorial Field.

At the dedication Tyler’s younger brother Blake, wearing Tyler’s middle school jersey, threw out the ceremonial “first pitch” which was caught by their father Jody who was wearing Tyler’s baseball cap.

“In a twist of irony, Tyler was transported by ambulance to that very field after the accident so he could be medivaced by helicopter to Greenville memorial Hospital. He actually died in that helicopter as it sat in centerfield,” Tyler’s grandfather said.

Tyler also has been memorialized by a sportsmanship award — the ATD Take 10 Award — presented each year by Pickens High School football coaches. And students at the school formed a “Take 10” prayer group to meet 10 minutes each morning to have prayer, taking its name from Tyler’s football number.

Tyler’s family agrees that his most lasting legacy is his faith. “Tyler was a Christian who loved to share his faith with any and all — adults and kids alike,” his grandfather said.
When Gov. Mark Sanford signed his name to “Tyler’s Law” a couple of weeks ago, it closed a painful chapter to the story of young Tyler Durham.

But it opened the door to a legacy that will memorialize the young man for years to come by saving lives and establishing consequences for those who break the law.





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"Tyler's Law"  
Governor signs "Tyler's Law"
Published:
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 9:06 AM CDT
Law holds underage drivers, parents accountable for child's actions behind the wheel

By Jason Evans

Editor

jevans@pickenssentinel.com

STATE - A new law aims to keep car keys out of underage hands, hold parents accountable for when their child drives without permission, and keep tragedy off of South Carolina roadways.

Gov. Mark Sanford signed "Tyler's Law" into law June 17.

The law is named after Andrew Tyler Durham, a 15-year-old Pickens High School student who died in an accident in August 2006 involving a driver who was not supposed to driving.

"The law imposes stiffer penalties on underage drivers when they drive unlawfully, whether that's driving past curfew, driving without a license, etc.," said Erin Durham, Tyler's mother.

The law sees parents held accountable when their child drives unlawfully.

"It holds parents responsible for knowing allowing their child to drive unlawfully," Durham said.

Tyler Durham died after the driver of the car he was riding in lost control and the car struck three trees, Durham said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Once the investigation into the accident that caused Durham's death was completed, the car's driver was only charged with driving too fast for conditions, Durham said.

The accident happened at 11:40 p.m., hours after the driver's curfew, Durham said.

"We were disappointed, we felt the parent's would be held liable." she said. "He had to pay a $100 fine. That's the price he had to pay for my son's life."

Tyler's parents wanted to help create a law that would help see that no one else had to experience what they experienced.

An old family friend stepped in to help them do just that - Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville.

"The law was his idea," Durham said. "When he found out about the accident and what charges could and could not be made, he approached us.

"He said, 'I want to introduce a law, a new law, and see what happens,'" Durham said.

As they researched issue, Durham and her family discovered that the state's traffic laws had not been revised or changed since 1976, Durham said.

"It was a change that definitely needed to be made and now it's named after our son," she said. It was way, way, way overdue.

"If you think about 1976, there was no cell phones back then, no texting, so much less distractions for drivers," she continued. "There are probably four or five times as many cars on the road now.

Tyler Durham was a popular student who loved sports, Durham said.

"He was a real happy, outgoing, friendly, popular kid," she said. "You couldn't ask for a better child. He was a good boy, a great person."

The accident took place about a quarter mile from a Shoals Creek Road baseball field where Durham often played as he worked his goal of becoming a college baseball player.

After the accident, the MediVac helicopter landed on that field.

Durham passed away as he was being moved from the ambulance onto the field.

Today, that field bears Tyler's name, she said.

"It's officially named Andrew Tyler Durham Memorial Field," she said.

Durham hopes the law named for her son saves lives.

"This law, it's out there now," she said. "Because of that, a decision might be made differently, not to allow your child to drive illegally, even a mile to get a gallon of milk. One small decision can have devastating effects on many, many people."





Beasley Mountain fire contained to only a few acres Seniors Unlimited to offer fraud protection workshops


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Article by Doug Jolley!  
Posted: 6/22/2008 3:26 AM

Moving Story about Batcock's Grandson, Mega's Nephew, Tyler

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Signing of Tyler’s Law Closes Painful Chapter


By Doug Jolley
GamecockAnthem.com
Posted Jun 22, 2008



There are few things as precious in life as the time a grandfather gets to spend with his grandchildren. Bill Batson loved to take his grandson Tyler to Carolina home football games with him. When a senseless car accident took Tyler’s life, the Gamecock community rallied around him and his family. Now a law has been passed to prevent other families from suffering as Tyler's did.

It may start out as simply a message board for fans of a specific college team, but internet sites like GamecockAnthem.com gain a sense of community as people develop relationships online as they share their passion for their team; and while doing so, they share something about themselves as well. So it is not unusual to sign on to GamecockAnthem or other similar fan message boards and see a thread asking for prayer.

In August 2006, the Anthem community rallied around two of their own when the news of the tragic death of 15 year old Tyler Durham broke.

Bill Batson, better known online as “Batcock,” was Tyler’s grandfather. His aunt, Rosevelyn Cooper, better known as “Megacockfan,” is one of the more prolific Gamecock posters. Both made tributes to their lost loved one as a signature at the bottom of each post they make. Because both are so well known and loved on GamecockAnthem, the news of Tyler’s death hit the entire online community hard, and they poured out their love to them.

A teenage friend of Tyler’s had invited him to take a ride in his new car on that tragic night in August of 2006. The driver of the car was driving illegally at the time, because it was after the 8 pm curfew required by his restricted license. Tyler's mother, Erin Durham, said, "The driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and on an unfamiliar road and he lost control of the vehicle. She told the Pickens Sentinel, "If he had not been allowed by his parents to drive a vehicle after hours, then Tyler would not have been in that car. I think it's very important for parents to be held liable for the decisions they know their children are making."

Bill Batson was a high school classmate of South Carolina State Senator Mike Fair, and contacted him about drafting legislation to protect other children and their families from experiencing similar unnecessary tragedies. Fair sponsored the legislation which became known as Tyler’s Law, and in early June 2008, Governor Mark Sanford signed it into law. The new law makes parents more accountable for their children's actions behind the wheel, instituting penalties for parents who knowingly allow their teenagers to violate drivers’ license restrictions. Fair said, “There was a little place in the law like a nerve sticking out, and this bill attempts to cover it. I think underage kids driving can be a significant safety problem. This will make all of us think about our day to day activities, if done outside the law can have dire consequences.”

Tyler was a talented three sport athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball. Tyler was on the inaugural Dacusville Middle School baseball team in 2004 that went undefeated, 21-0, and won the conference championship. At the time of his death, Tyler was a member of the Pickens High School football and baseball teams. Pickens High School coaches gave out a sportsmanship award in his honor. "It just gives you a good feeling that people are going to remember him – (he's) not going to be forgotten," Batson told the Pickens paper.

The accident happened just a block away from the Pickens County baseball field he often played at. The baseball field was named at the beginning of this season in his honor, and is now known as “Andrew Tyler Durham Memorial Field,” which is located at 183 Shoals Creek Church in Easley. At the dedication, Tyler’s younger brother Blake threw out the ceremonial "first pitch" and his Dad Jody caught it. Blake was wearing Tyler's middle school jersey, and Jody was wearing Tyler's baseball cap. His grandfather said, “In a twist of irony, Tyler was transported by ambulance to this very field after the accident to be medivaced by helicopter to Greenville Memorial Hospital. He actually died as he was being place in the helicopter as it sat in centerfield.”



Tyler’s stated goal was to become a college baseball player, hopefully for the Gamecocks. His grandfather said he was small in stature, but big in heart. His grandfather is friends with former Gamecock assistant coach Jim Washburn, who is currently an assistant with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. Washburn sent workout programs to Tyler and talked to him on the phone about them. Tyler "followed them to the letter,” according to his grandfather.

Batson said Tyler’s most lasting legacy would be his faith. He said, “Tyler was a Christian boy who loved to share his faith with any and all, adults and kids alike.” Senator Fair, talking of Tyler’s legacy, quoted Cory Ten Boom, who saved the lives of many from the Nazi atrocities in World War Two. “She said 'Joy runs deeper than despair,' and (Tyler's) family can give testimony to this."





Last edited 6/22/2008 5:14 AM by DougJolleySC

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Featheredcock1Red-Shirt
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Nominate | ReportPosted: 6/22/2008 4:46 PM

Re: Moving Story about Batcock's Grandson, Mega's Nephew, Tyler

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tragic story, a life so full of promise cut short like that. I don't think one ever really gets over something like that.



"TYLER'S LAW" Has passed!!!!  

On Thursday, June 5th 2008, the state of South Carolina adopted the bill introduced as "tyler's Law" in early 2007. It is now LAW!! A new SC traffic law has been passed to hold parents/guardians of their minors legally responsible for any and all driving violations committed by their children. EX: driving passed curfew, or any/all viloation of restrictions. This has been a long time in the works, and we smile through our tears today as yet another legacy is added to the list of our son's many!! We are hopeful that "Tyler's Law" will save lives. Tyler lost his life on August 19 2006 due to the neglect and irresponsibility of parents who allowed their son to break the law by driving past his curfew. Their son was charged with driving too fast for conditions and ultimately served time in a detention center(among other sentences), but the parents could not be charged with anything due to SC state law. THAT HAS CHANGED!! This is the first time since 1976 that SC traffic law has been revised. It is long overdue. We know that Tyler looks down from his heavenly home today with pride! If this saves just one single life.....then our son's death was not in vain. A special thank you to Senator Mike Fair for all of his hard work and dedication to our family. God bless you!

Sincerely,

Erin M Durham- see below for complete text of "Tyler's Law"

Amend Title To Conform

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. A. This SECTION may be cited as "Tyler's Law".

B. Chapter 1, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 56-1-187. A parent or guardian who knowingly and willfully permits his dependant to operate a motor vehicle in violation of a restriction imposed on a beginner's permit pursuant to Section 56-1-50, a conditional driver's license pursuant to Section 56-1-175, or a special restricted driver's license pursuant to Section 56-1-180, or knowingly permits his dependant to operate a motor vehicle without a valid beginner's permit or driver's license, must be assessed a civil fine in an amount up to five hundred dollars. Upon the magistrates or municipal court receiving notice of the dependent's violation through transmittal to the court of the traffic ticket or through other means, the court shall determine the names of the parents or guardians from the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles. The court shall then notify the dependent's parents or guardians by certified mail at the address shown on the traffic ticket, unless the department's records show a different address, of the violation and the fact that they may be subject to a civil fine. Failure to receive the notice does not prohibit the imposition of the civil fine pursuant to this section. If, while operating the motor vehicle in violation of a restriction, the dependant causes great bodily injury or death, the parent or guardian must be assessed a civil fine in an amount up to one thousand dollars. The court may suspend the imposition of the fine, conditioned upon the parent or guardian completing, to the satisfaction of the court, public service with a non-profit organization, community service, or parenting classes. This section does not apply to a motor vehicle operated on private property. A civil fine imposed pursuant to this section does not give rise to a private cause of action based solely upon the fact that the fine was imposed. The imposition of a civil fine is not admissible for the purpose of establishing the liability of a parent or guardian in a private cause of action to which the parents or guardians are a party."

SECTION 2. Section 56-1-1750 of the 1976 Code is repealed.

SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.


----XX----
This web page was last updated on June 5, 2008 at 5:43 PM

 


News article!  
PICKENS ó Tyler Durham, a wide receiver and safety for Pickens High, dreamed of playing football for the University of South Carolina and attended almost every USC home game with his grandfather.


Later this month a Dacusville ball field will be named for the multi-talented young athlete who was a baseball standout as well until two days after the start of his sophomore year, when a car he was riding in went off the road and he was killed.

Now his grandfather and his father speak to groups of young people at the high school about driving responsibly. It's a message they want not only young drivers, but all drivers to think about every time they turn the ignition key.

Tyler died in one of six fatal wrecks with teenage drivers at the wheel over the past year and a half that have raised concern in the Pickens High community.

Six teenagers, all students or former students at the school, died and nine others were injured.

"It happens all too often now," said Erin Durham, who lost her son and then mourned with families of two of his friends, all victims of separate incidents. "It's a close-knit community and everybody knows everybody, so it does affect everybody."

Teresa Madden, who lost her 18-year-old son Cody, knew five of the six through working in school cafeterias and as a substitute teacher. "I watched these kids grow up. It's hard."

Highway deaths among teenagers increased across the Upstate in 2007. Of 244 fatalities in Greenville, Pickens, Anderson, Oconee and Spartanburg counties, 35 were teens between the ages of 13 and 18, the state Highway Patrol reports. Of 232 Upstate fatalities in 2006, 19 were in their teens.

A bill called "Tyler's law," named for Tyler Durham, has been introduced in the state Senate proposing stiffer penalties for teens and parents regarding restricted license violations. Other bills before the state General Assembly also deal with young drivers, including one aimed at underage drinking. Alcohol wasn't a factor in any of the accidents involving the Pickens High students.

Jessi Arnold cried for friends at three funerals before becoming the fourth crash victim. She wore a shirt bearing Durham's football jersey number 10 on the first anniversary of his death, just weeks before her own.

"I don't know if it's the narrow two-lane roads or what," said her mother, Susan Arnold.

Five of the six drivers went off two-lane roads without shoulders that are typical of rural roads across the Upstate. One was at a four-lane divided highway red light.

Inexperience could be a common denominator, said Lance Cpl. Kathy Hiles, of the state Highway Patrol. Leaving the road is a situation most drivers learn to handle only through experience, she said.

Pickens High Principal Marion Lawson worries about the narrow, winding roads so many of his 1,450 students travel daily and said the driver education teachers make particular efforts to "educate students on the critical nature of operating a vehicle."

Driving safety is emphasized through programs with law enforcement, driver education classes and student-led announcements to increase awareness of the need to drive safely, Lawson said.

The string of deaths have impacted the school, Lawson said. "We are saddened by the loss of these young lives in these tragic situations and try to minister to those families and minister to the other kids here as they try to work through the loss."

Pickens High is one of 132 South Carolina high schools that are state Department of Motor Vehicles driver training test sites where students can take their written beginner permit tests.

The program started in 2004 and was implemented at Pickens High in 2005. Beth Parks, DMV spokeswoman, said the program is very successful and is unrelated to the string of fatalities in Pickens.

"Students are only getting a beginner permit. They still have to go through the entire process to get a license to drive that any other student would have to go through," Parks said.

Kristy Harris was on her way home from a Monster Truck show in Greenville when the car she was riding in went off the road. Her mother, Nancy Harris, remembers her as an outdoors girl who loved swimming, fishing, hunting, and simple things like singing bluegrass gospel songs at family gatherings. At the Pickens Azalea Festival, she was the first one up the rock climbing wall.

Her one-year-old son, born by C-section after the wreck will never know her, but when he's old enough to understand, his grandmother will tell him that his mother's life was short but well lived and filled with love.

Mackenzie Sullivan had just turned 18 and was driving to her grandmother's house to go birthday shopping with her. She called her mother, Vonda Tew, from a convenience store on the way.

"She said I love you and I said I love you. Those are the last words we said to each other," her mother said.

Tew, a Greenville Hospital System nurse, said the heartache causes her to drive the long way to work to avoid seeing a dogwood tree planted in her daughter's memory near the accident scene in front of Rock Springs Baptist Church.

Family and friends established a scholarship fund with money they intended to give Sullivan for graduation. This year women are making quilts to raise money for the fund that benefits a Pickens High student.

Jessi Arnold was driving to work at Dacusville Pizza and died less than five minutes from home, when she ran off the road and lost control of her car, her mother said.

She had just started her junior year at Pickens High and was in the cosmetology program at the B.J. Skelton Career Center. She and her best friend wanted to open their own salon. She was an accomplished artist, played bass clarinet and studied dance at Easley Dance Conservatory much of her life.

Mother and daughter were supposed to go to France this summer with a group of French students from the school.

"She had a love for life and a zest for life and lived to the fullest," Mrs. Arnold said of her only child. "I miss her terribly."

Cody Madden loved anything with wheels. He loved skateboards and four-wheelers and dirt bikes, and he loved the Jeep he was driving with the doors off when he died.

He and his brother were two-tenths of a mile from a friend's house where they'd been playing basketball when the Jeep went off the road and into a ravine, hitting boulders and a pole, his mother said.

He was just reaching down to pick up a CD or something, and took his eyes off the road, she said.

Every time he left home, she'd remind him: "Seat belt!"

He wasn't wearing his seat belt the day he died, she said.

"They think they are invincible," Mrs. Madden said.

The five mothers interviewed said they hope their stories will raise awareness of the importance of staying focused on driving safely for teens and for anyone of any age behind the wheel.


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Dacusville Recreation Complex field dedicated

Erin and Jody Durham, parents of Tyler, listen intently as the Dacusville Recreation Complex field on which their son played ball, and then later died, was dedicated to his memory. Tyler was killed in 2006 when the vehicle in which he was a passenger left the roadway and struck a tree. Photo by Rita-Sue Seaborn
Published:
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 11:59 AM CDT
Durham's brother throws first pitch to dad

By Rita-Sue Seaborn

rseaborn@pickenssentinel.com

DACUSVILLE - For a brief moment Saturday, the storms that had plagued Pickens County subsided and the ominous clouds parted, allowing the sun to dry the tears on many of the faces of those who had come to pay tribute to a young man whose life ended far too soon.

The group, about 100 friends and family members of Andrew Tyler Durham, stood on a Dacusville Recreation Complex ball field to be dedicated in his memory, and reflected on the teenager who loved sports and the Carolina Gamecocks.

"Tyler played on the inaugural ball team for Dacusville Middle School," his mother, Erin Durham, said. "His jersey number was "3" and the ball field being dedicated to him is ball field number three.

"That's significant," she said.

In addition, the field that now bears his name is the place that Tyler Durham died, following a nearby August 18 traffic accident in which Tyler, suffering from extensive internal injuries, was transported by ground ambulance to the helicopter that had landed in the field, waiting to take the young man to Greenville Memorial Hospital.

"The helicopter was waiting right in center field, and I know the exact location because I asked," Erin Durham said. "Some time between being taken out of the ambulance and placed into the helicopter is when Tyler drew his last breath, right there on the ball field, a place he love the best."

The brightness of the sunshine following a morning of driving rain did not go unnoticed by the young mother.

"I was so worried when I heard the weather reports for today, and then drove here in the rain," she said. "But now the sun is shining and it's the perfect day to be here. There's a reason for this."

Senator Mike Fair (R - District 6), who has proposed a bill, Tyler's Law, calling for parental responsibility when parents knowingly allow their teenagers to violate drivers license restrictions, told the crowd that he expects the law, to be passed in June.

"This will make all of us think about day to day activities done outside the law," he said. "And remind us that there can be some dire consequences when breaking the law."

Fair said that Tyler Durham was an outstanding athlete whose abilities help lead his team to a 21-0 championship year.

"Tyler was never on an undefeated team and that adds to the senselessness of the accident," he said. "That a bright, energetic young man who loved life and the Gamecocks was taken at such an early age."

Fair said that although family and friends grieve at the loss of such an inspirational young man, "we won't ever know about all the ripples his life has made upon history."

The dedication of the field, a place that he loved and the land on which he died, to Tyler Durham's memory, along with the pending bill of Tyler's Law, will forever be a tribute to his life, he said.

According to Fair, Cory Ten Boom, a survivor of the hardships of occupied Japan, "said joy runs deeper than despair, and (Tyler's) family can give testimony to this."

With the Andrew Tyler Durham scoreboard lit in the background, and as darkened clouds once again began to gather on the eastern horizon, Blake Durham, wearing his brother's #3 jersey, threw the first pitch on the newly dedicated field, which was caught by Jody Durham, their dad.


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Law Would Make Parents Accountable For Young Drivers
Teen's Death Leads To Proposed Bill

POSTED: 6:29 pm EDT March 17, 2008
UPDATED: 6:09 am EDT March 18, 2008


LIBERTY, S.C. -- The parents of a 15-year-old who died while riding with a teenager driver who shouldn't have been driving hope that a new law will be part of their son's legacy.

The proposed law would make parents more accountable for their children's actions behind the wheel.

The law will be known as Tyler's Law.

On Saturday, a playing field was officially named Andrew Tyler Durham Memorial Field, named for the teen who spent much of his life there.

Tyler's grandfather, Bill Batson, said, "To Tyler, it was his life and he had that goal that he was trying to reach of playing college ball.

Tyler was a talented athlete. Pickens High coaches give out a sportsmanship award in his honor.

"It just gives you a good feeling that people are going to remember him – (he's) not going to be forgotten," Batson said.

Tyler died in August 2006 on a Pickens County Road. A teenage friend with a new car invited Tyler to come along for a ride. But it was after the 8 p.m. curfew that came with his restricted license.

Tyler's mother, Erin Durham, said, "The driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and on an unfamiliar road and he lost control of the vehicle."

"If he had not been allowed by his parents to drive a vehicle after hours then Tyler would not have been in that car."

His mother said, "I think it's very important for parents to be held liable for the decisions these you know children make."

Tyler's mother and father say that all parents can learn from their son's death, and now Sen. Mike Fair is sponsoring the bill called Tyler's Law.

Fair said, "In fact, for the first time (it) will add penalties to parents -- penalties to guardians -- who knowingly allow their dependent children to drive illegally."

Tyler's father, Jody Durham, said, "You're teaching your child how to be responsible in driving a vehicle and abiding by the laws."

It's one more way to keep Tyler's memory alive and to help other parents avoid a similar tragedy.
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Dacusville ballfield named in teen's memory
Two other fields at rec center remember wife of board member, 9-year-old
By Julie Howle • STAFF WRITER • March 25, 2008

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A baseball field at Dacusville's Recreation Complex now bears the name of one of its own -- 15-year-old Andrew Tyler Durham, who played many games on the field and took his last breath there after a car accident in 2006.


"We're very proud of our son," said Erin Durham, Tyler's mother. "We're proud that he was the kind of kid he was ... It's such an honor for us to know that our son was loved so much by so many."

Durham said Tyler died from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle wreck on Little Pond Road on Aug. 18, 2006, when the car he was riding in went off the road and hit a tree.

She said Tyler died at 12:19 a.m. Aug. 19, 2006, after an ambulance took him to field 3 at the recreation complex for him to be airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Now that same field has been named the Andrew Tyler Durham Memorial Field, and a scoreboard has been erected in his memory.

"Every time somebody drives by and sees that scoreboard, he'll be remembered for the kind of person he was," Durham said. "He was just a very caring, compassionate child ... He was always smiling."

She said 100-150 people came to a recent ceremony for the field naming.

Mark Cisson, president of the Dacusville Recreation Department, said there are three baseball fields and a football field at the complex.

One baseball field has been named in memory of Tyler, and the football field has been named in memory of a recreation board member's wife. Cisson said his 9-year-old son, Luke, died a few years ago and they will soon name another baseball field for him.

"It helps," Cisson said. "Anytime anybody loses a kid ... anything you can do helps."

Durham said Tyler started playing baseball at age 4, participating in recreation and middle-school baseball on the Dacusville field, and was on the junior varsity team at Pickens High School, where he had just started his sophomore year days before the fatal accident.

"He absolutely loved sports, every sport you can think of," she said.

Durham said a bill called "Tyler's law" has been introduced in the state Senate proposing stiffer penalties for teens and parents for restricted license violations.

She said they hope it will be passed in June.

"The main thing that we're trying to do in all of this is to raise the awareness of the dangers of inexperienced drivers," Durham said. "That's just very important to us to make sure that these traffic laws are followed, because obviously it can have a devastating effect on many people."


News article!  
Fifteen-year-old Andrew Tyler Durham has left a lasting mark on the Dacusville community.


A baseball field at the Dacusville Recreation Complex now bears Durham's name, a tribute to the memory of the teen who played many games on the field and took his last breath there after a car accident in 2006.

"We're very proud of our son," said Erin Durham, Tyler's mother. "We're proud that he was the kind of kid he was. ... It's such an honor for us to know that our son was loved so much by so many."

Durham said Tyler was killed in a single-vehicle wreck on Little Pond Road on Aug. 18, 2006, when the car he was riding in went off the road and hit a tree.

Tyler died at 12:19 a.m. Aug. 19, 2006, after an ambulance took him to field 3 at the recreation complex for him to be airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Now that same field has been named the Andrew Tyler Durham Memorial Field and a scoreboard has been erected in his honor.

"Every time somebody drives by and sees that scoreboard he'll be remembered for the kind of person he was," Durham said. "He was just a very caring, compassionate child."

Mark Cisson, president of the Dacusville Recreation Department, said there are three baseball fields and a football field at the Dacusville complex.

One baseball field has been named in memory of Tyler, and the football field has been named in memory of a recreation board member's wife. Cisson said his 9-year-old son, Luke, died a few years ago and they will soon name another baseball field for him.

"It helps," Cisson said. "Anytime anybody loses a kid ... anything you can do helps."

Durham said Tyler started playing baseball at age 4, participating in recreation and middle-school baseball on the Dacusville field, and was on the junior varsity team at Pickens High School where he had just started his sophomore year days before the fatal accident.

"He absolutely loved sports, every sport you can think of," she said.

Durham said they are always trying to do things to honor Tyler to ensure he isn't forgotten and to help fill the void in their lives.

"The main thing that we're trying to do in all of this is to raise the awareness of the dangers of inexperienced drivers," she said.


"Tyler's Law"  

I just wanted to post an update regarding "Tyler's Law". We got word today that the bill has left sub-commitee with approval and is on its way to main commitee. We are told that the process from main committee to the senate floor to be voted on is a fairly quick process.  So, our hope is that within the next couple of weeks the State of South Carolina will have a new state law named after our Tyler. We are very excited about this upcoming change and have faith that it will make a difference in the lives of many people in the future. Hopefully it will make parents of minors and young inexperienced drivers think twice before making a decision that could potentially have devastating consequences.  If anyone would like to read the complete text of the bill you can find it at the SC State senate website. The bill number is S617.

 

Thank you and God bless!!

Erin


"Andrew Tyler Durham Memorial Field"  

On Saturday 3/15/08, Dacusville Recreational Baseball Field will officially be named " Andrew Tyler Durham Memorial Field". The beautiful scoreboard has been installed and will be turned on for the first time for first pitch of the first home game for the Dacusville Middle School baseball team. Tyler was a member of the inagural team in 2004 and they went undefeated!! His jersey, #3, was retired in spring of 2007. The dedication ceremony will be held at the field on 3/15/08 at 10:30am. Senator Mike Fair will be speaking at this event-about Tyler and also about "Tyler's Law"- a bill which was introduced into legislation after Tyler's passing with the purpose of enforcing stricter penalties on underage drivers and parent/guardians of underage drivers who allow their children to operate a vehicle unlawfully. We anticipate this bill to become law by summer of 2008, prior to the two year anniversary of Tyler's passing. We expect this event to draw a large crowd. We are so fortunate to have so many people who each day, without fail do so much to ensure that Tyler Durham will never be forgotten. His memory lives on in the hearts of so many, and we know he is so very proud! This "monument" erected in honor of Tyler will stand tall for many to see for years and years to come. Tyler spent much of his time on this baseball field, and was his happiest!! Tyler also took his last breath on this field. this IS "Andrew Tyler Durham Memorial Field"!!


Thank you and God Bless,


Erin, Jody and Blake Durham


 


Please take a look at the pictures of the scoreboard in the photo gallery!


 


Tyler's lagecy has just begun!!  

 Tyler's legacy I guess would depend on who you ask.  There are so many lives he touched in his 15 years on this earth, and I would love for these people to post on this site, and share with everyone just how he touched their lives!! 

There is a Bill that is in comittee that is named after him.. It will be called "Tyler's law". This law would hold parents accountable for allowing their under-age child to drive a vehicle illegally.  The penalties will be substantial  fines and possible incarceration and revoking of licsense.  Our family pursued this, and we are kept up to date on a daily basis.  When Tyler's law is passed, our hope is that it will prevent another precious, beautiful life to be taken away from their loved ones way before their time, by total irresponsiblilty.  To voice your opinion on this bill, please contact South Carolina State Senators Fair, Hutto, Knox and Jackson via email.

Last, but most importantly! Tyler brought many, many people to The Lord Jesus Christ during his life and through his death!  He brought people to everlasting life!!! That is the greatest gift you can bring to someone, and is a legacy in itself! Tyler was a very special child, and I know The Lord had plans for him.  He fullfillied his duties on this earth, and now is at home with The Father forever! We will see him again one glorious day!!! Until then, we remember, he is only a breath away!!

In memory of my beautiful boy,
I love you more than love my angel!!!
Erin
(Ty's mom)
God Bless!! 


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