‘Hold your babies tight’: Loudon County family grieves son killed by falling tree

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

The mother of the teenager killed by a falling tree Saturday has identified her son as the victim in the incident. Julie Porcella says her son Tyson, 15, was the victim of the fallen tree on Virtue Road in North Loudon County.

Tyson Porcella was a freshman at Lenoir City High School and would have been 16 years old 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,” his mom Julie said.

Tyson’s parents also say he was a big sports fan and supporter of the Tennessee Vols.

“Anybody that watched a game with Tyson, especially a Tennessee game, usually came away a little deafer,” James said.

And for a teen they describe as larger than life, the support from the Loudon County community has been equally big. It’s what is giving Tyson’s parents their strength, on top of their unwavering faith.

“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,” James said.

“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,” Julie said.

In fact, that is at the core of Julie’s message. Her husband has a reminder that life is fragile.

“Grab your kids, give them a hug,” James 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,” Julie said.

“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 Porcella, Facebook post about Tyson

Funeral services are set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 11, at First Baptist Church Lenoir City. Read the obituary.

The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office reported that its deputies had responded to reports of two teenage males who had been struck by a falling tree off of Virtue Road. One of the teens was transported to University of Tennessee Medical Center with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening. The other teen, now identified as Tyson Porcella by his family, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokesperson with LCSO 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’.” 

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