Tyler Stair, 17-year-old junior firefighter with the , was a "hero-in-training" to his family, friends and colleagues. after the severe off-season snowstorm in an ATV accident while delivering hay at a friend’s house.
He would have celebrated his 18th birthday on Jan. 3.
His father, Mark, and sister, Ashley, kindly agreed to speak with Lower Macungie Patch as a way to honor a young man who is deeply missed.
Family: Tyler lived with his father and sister in Alburtis. His mother, Karen Walker, resides in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, and his brother, Joshua, in Harrisburg.
School: Tyler was an 11th-grader at the Commonwealth Connections Academy. “He absolutely loved attending the cyber school, doing most of his work here at the kitchen counter. It was a good move from the [Emmaus] high school,” said Mark.
Part-time job: “Tyler was a little entrepreneur,” they said. “He didn’t have a formal job. Tyler saved his money and bought himself a lawn tractor and equipment. He drove around the neighborhood cutting grass, clearing snow and doing odd jobs for people.”
Tyler’s favorite activities and interests: “Tyler liked to fix things. He was very ambitious. He liked to take things out of the trash and take them apart to see if he could get it going,” said his father.
He also enjoyed hunting and fishing and anything that had to do with the outdoors, his father and sister agreed.
Fire Company: He had been a junior firefighter at the Alburtis Fire Department since the summer of 2011.
How do you feel about Tyler’s volunteering with the fire company? “We figured he would get involved with them eventually," Mark said. "Tyler enjoyed hanging around both the police department and fire department at an early age. He would have gone along on calls if he could have.”
Tyler’s hopes and dreams: “He just liked to live each day one at a time,” they said. “He was planning to get a pick-up truck. I think he may have opened a landscaping business — that’s what he liked to do.”
Can you tell us about the day of the accident? “We don’t really know for sure what happened,” Mark and Ashley said.
“I picked him up from a visit with his mother,” Mark said. “When we got home, he packed a bag. He was planning to stay with a friend in Whitehall Township and help him after it got done snowing, but he wanted to get there before it began — it would be safer Tyler said.”
And that was last time he saw his son.
Mark was on the phone when pick-up trucks and a “police-type car” pulled in front of his Alburtis townhouse. When he opened the front door, Mark saw the car was that of the coroner and knew something happened to Tyler.
All anyone knows is that Tyler was delivering hay with his ATV that day, said Mark. He’d made several trips, but didn’t return after the usual five-to-ten minutes. He was found by his friend with the ATV on top of him. It is presumed that Tyler slipped on some snow or ice and the ATV overturned.
“That’s all we know,” they said with tears in their eyes.
What made Tyler special? Mark and Ashley said Tyler was friendly with everybody. He would talk to anyone and help anybody anytime, they said. Sometimes he would stop his vehicle while driving past a home and help people if they were working outside.
“That’s the type of person Tyler was,” said Mark.
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