1. Archive

Zephyrhills High graduate, 23, dies at dance club

Published Sep. 28, 2005

Timothy Clark Tyler, a 23-year-old schoolteacher and Zephyrhills High School graduate, collapsed and died this week at a dance club at Walt Disney World.

Tyler, who taught special education classes at Cracker Trail Elementary in Sebring, went to a swing-style dance hall at the theme park with two friends Monday night, said the Rev. Keith Reiley, pastor of Community Chapel Church of God.

"He'd just finished one dance with a young lady and they were chatting and standing on some steps," Reiley said. "The young lady noticed that he wasn't up to par and asked what was wrong. He told her that he felt like he'd taken Nyquil, numb and tired. And then he fell dead."

Orange County Medical Examiner Dr. Shashi Gore said Thursday that no cause of death had been determined. Investigators considered an aneurysm or an enlarged heart, but ruled those out.

"A young man of 23 became unresponsive after dancing at a club," Gore said. "That's all we know."

Gore said it will be several weeks before results of toxicology screenings and other tests that might determine the cause of death are available.

Tyler collapsed about 10:30 p.m. Monday and was taken to Sand Lake Hospital in Orlando where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

"It was very sudden," said Tyler's mother, Regina, who lives in Zephyrhills. "He fell on the floor and that was it."

Reiley said he had known Tyler for 11 years and that the man been a youth leader at Community Chapel during his high school years.

After graduation, Tyler attended Warner Southern College in Lake Wales where he was senior class president. He graduated from there in May and got a teaching job this fall, Reiley said.

"He was one of those people everybody loved and appreciated," Reiley said. "One fellow that had just traveled back from Colorado just to see him commented that he had not always treated Tim with much respect, but that Tim had always been a true friend in spite of that. And he had come back specifically to say he was sorry. Tim met him at the airport and they had quite a time renewing a friendship. That was the night before he died."

Tyler, who was born in Parishville, N.Y., is survived by his mother, Regina Tyler of Zephyrhills; sisters Linda J. Davis of West Palm Beach and Judy A. Daniels of Hopewell Junction, N.Y.; and brothers Thomas A. Tyler of Canton, N.Y., and Darren R. Tyler of Crary Mills, N.Y.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. today at Community Chapel Church of God, with viewing beginning at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the church at 5320 First St., Zephyrhills.