As many of you might be aware of by now, Tyler Cox has passed on.
For all the people who knew him and keep asking what happened. Tyler had an accident, not traffic related or anything, no one else got hurt, nothing like that. He had an accident though, and stopped breathing. He was unconscious for long enough for his brain to deteriorate, but the paramedics were there just in time to get him onto life support. His body quickly deteriorated in the ICU and he passed away this morning. He was an organ donor so they are harvesting his organs so others can live. It was terribly sad to be there with his family and see him on life support.
Just a quick aside. I met Tyler when he was 15 I believe. His dad bought him a 240sx before he was even old enough to drive it and brought him out to Mineral Wells FOREVER ago. It must have been 2005. I spent his first couple events helping him to learn donuts and figure 8s with a KA. Back then we didn't have many drivers so if you showed up at my events and were new, I would sit in your car and help for a few hours so you got your feet on the ground. Well he kept coming back EVERY month for years, and kept building his car up rapidly. When he was 16 or so, he drove down to San Antonio ( about 8 hours from where he is from ) and told me if his dad called he said I gave him an internship at my company for the summer. I had no idea what was going on, but he stayed with us basically for an entire summer, shadowing me to work everyday and hanging out. We had a whole crew of traveling buddies, including Stew, Russell, Derrick, Tyler, and later on Chelsea, among others that traveled around the country and had a blast. We did tons of fun stuff like Nopi, D1 USA, local events galore, and everyone got to know each other pretty well, and sometimes the close quarters and too much time spent together was a bit too much lol.
Tyler was a lot of things, as we all are. But when I first met him he was the nicest damn kid you ever met. I mean, literally the nicest kid you ever met. If someones car broke at an event, he would park his off to the side, trailer them 10 hours home, turn around, go get his car, and finally get home after 20 hours of extra driving and 500 bucks of his own families gas money. He did this multiple times, and didn't even know the people. If a competitor at a Nopi event couldn't finish the comp because they ran out of tires, he would give them a couple sets for free so they could continue. He did this multiple times for competitors he barely knew, or might even knock him out. His family is extremely nice too, and seeing them at the hospital yesterday was heart breaking.
Anyways, I hadn't seen him all that much lately, and I wish I had been around more in his life. We hadn't been getting along all that well in the past year or so, but it all seems pretty petty now.
And on a side note, regardless of the stress levels and effort involved in drifting, some of my best days are spent taking drifting trips with my friends. I never gave a crap about winning an event or anything like that, I just loved going out and driving, taking trips with friends, the 25 hour drive each way to Cali or Jersey, the SEMA trips and Hash House breakfast, sleeping on the floor or sharing 6 people to a room to save money in hotels, watching Nopi cars smash into the walls one after another, over and over. I have memories like going to Nopi Atlanta and unloading my race car at the hotel to drive to the track for the hell of it. No plates, no care. Street drifting on ramps all the way there, and then cutting about 3k cars in line to get in and driving it in while people threw drinks at us from their show cars because they have to wait in line that takes hours. I am rambling : )