‘Hold your babies tight’: Tennessee family grieves after falling tree kills son


LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — A Tennessee mother and father are grieving the loss of their teenage son.

Mother Julie Porcella says her son Tyson, 15, was killed by a falling tree in North Loudon County on Saturday.

Tyson was a high school freshman and would have turned 16 next month.

“He was the best friend anybody could ask for. He just was, and I think everybody would agree to that. And he was a great son,” said Tyson’s dad, James.

“The thing that we were the most proud of as his parents was that he was literally a friend to anyone who would let him be his friend. He was always going to be there. He would stick up for people when they needed it,” said Julie Porcella.

Tyson’s parents said he was also a big sports fan. “Anybody that watched a game with Tyson, especially a Tennessee game, usually came away a little deafer,” James Porcella said.

The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office reported Saturday that deputies responded after two teenagers were hit by the tree. Tyson, later identified by his family, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other teen was taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

Tyson’s parents said along with faith, community support has helped them to be strong after the death of their son, who was described as larger than life.

“That’s all we’ve got right now, with the exception of everybody that’s poured out to us. Internal peace comes from our faith, and we’re taking it day by day, and God is helping us through it,” said his dad.

“That’s one of the things that gives us the most peace, is that we know that this absolutely without a doubt was God’s plan for him,” Tyson’s mom said.

Her husband offered a reminder that life is fragile. “Grab your kids, give them a hug,” he said.

“You literally never know when is the last time you’re going to get out of your mom’s car or you’re going to walk out of your house, and if you feel even the slightest tug, just listen to Jesus,” said Julie Porcella, who also shared her feelings about losing her son on social media.

“There are no words that can ever describe this feeling. Shattered, devastation, pain all seem too empty. We are so overjoyed that God shared this incredible boy with us for almost 16 years. There are no ‘what ifs’ in this situation. God had a plan for our crazy child and now He is holding him so tight for us until we get there. We all hope Heaven has an endless supply of goldfish, that the WiFi never glitches, you always LOVE your hair and that you always know how much YOU ARE LOVED!
Please keep our family in your continued prayers and every one of you mamas better hold your babies tight and take every opportunity to tell them how much you love them!”

Julie Porcello, Facebook post about Tyson

An LCSO spokesperson said Saturday that “neither teen, or anyone who was there at the time of the accident, was doing any type of work to the tree and the cause of the tree falling was a complete ‘act of nature.’” 

Read Tyson’s obituary.

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