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Posted on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

Car crash victim remembered as the kid who got along with everybody

By Cindy Heflin


Friends visit the area near Whittaker and Merritt roads in Ypsilanti Township where a cross is dedicated to Tyler Cummings, who died in a car crash Saturday.

Daniel Brenner I

Tyler Cummings was the guy who made everybody laugh.

"I don't know of anyone that can say Tyler's name and not think of him and smile," said Carrie Wollam, an English teacher at Lincoln High School, from which Cummings graduated last June.


Tyler Cummings

Cummings, 18, died Saturday when the car he was driving collided with a Ford Explorer near the intersection of Whittaker and Merritt roads in Ypsilanti Township. Police said his southbound car crossed the center line on Whittaker Road and crashed into a northbound Ford Explorer.

About 40 or 50 people gathered Sunday night at a makeshift roadside memorial set up in Cummings' honor. They lit candles and put their names on a sign honoring Cummings.

Angelia Cummings said she felt her son's presence in the group, especially during a lighter moment when a phone went off. "For whatever reason his father's cellphone started playing some crazy rap song and and would not shut off. ... We think it was a sign from Tyler."

The fact that so many would come together on short notice to pay tribute to Cummings came as no surprise to Wollam.

"He was just that kid who got along with everybody," she said. "He was very charismatic. I just feel a great loss for the school and for his family."

Tyler was the class clown, Angelia Cummings said. "He was always joking. ... He always had a smile on his face," she said.

He had a disarming way of making her laugh even when she was mad at him. "There was nobody like Tyler. He will never realize how many people's lives he affected and touched."

Besides humor, Tyler loved music, video games and sneakers, his mother said. "He was a tennis shoe fanatic. He would stand in line at the mall waiting in line for some hot new shoes coming out." Angelia Cummings said her son was on his way to a friend's house to play a new video game when the crash occurred Saturday.

Fred Hall, who is Angelia Cummings' former boyfriend and still a close friend of the family, said Tyler, who also loved baseball hats, had a large network of friends. "Girls and guys; blacks and whites; it didn't matter. People loved Tyler Cummings," he said.

Besides his mother, Tyler Cummings is survived by his father, Thomas Cummings of Ypsilanti; sister, Briana Cummings of Whittaker; half sister, Sarah Lee of Ypsilanti Township; half brother, Hunter Cummings of Whittaker; paternal grandparents, Phil and Alice Cummings of West Branch; maternal grandmother, Brenda (Robert) Martin of Milan; and maternal grandfather, Gary (Carolyn) Stover of Ann Arbor.

A funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Stark Funeral Service, 101 S. Washington St., Ypsilanti, with Pastor Larry Davis of Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church, Ypsilanti officiating. Cremation will follow. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tyler's memory may be made to The Tyler Cummings Fund, c/o Citizens Bank, 7150 S. Huron River Drive, Ypsilanti.

A Facebook page in Tyler's memory was set up Saturday.

Lincoln High School held a moment of silence for Tyler Monday, his mother said, and his friends plan to hold another candlelight vigil for him Monday night. Angelia Cummings said she plans to go. She doesn't know if a random cellphone ring will interrupt this gathering. "It would be pretty funny if it did," she said. "We would know that it was him."

Cindy Heflin is associate news director at Contact her at 734-623-2572 or or follow her on Twitter.


Valerie Owens

Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

I am very sorry again , I know what the family is going thru,I lost my baby brother in a crash and my world was turned upside down I

Steven Taylor

Thu, Sep 27, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

I hope the person that Tyler hit makes a full recovery. I'd love for the A2.come to do a follow up story on the survivor. Or is this comment gonna go down the memory hole too?


Wed, Sep 26, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

There was plans to fix this section of road. When will this happen?

music to my ear

Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 11:01 p.m.

as a mom and dad we always worry. no matter how old our children are we are very sorry for your loss and hope you can cling to your loved ones for support. let them help you grieve dont go it alone. they will be there for you .


Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

This is such a tragedy. It wasn't long ago that another young adult was killed nearby. Isn't it time there is a serious safety study done for the road conditions at Whittaker & Merritt? That corner needs at least a turn lane, widening, flashing slow lights-- something! The speed at that corner is crazy, and drivers do not slow down enough to let folks turn into, or out of the Millpoint Subdivision. It's possible these road changes could save lives in the future.


Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

That is one narrow strip. I had my learning permit child on that road going slowly. The banks make one nervous but you do need to take that road nice and easy. Best wishes to the family.


Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 1:19 p.m.

Thank You Ann Arbor News for removing the previous distasteful comments! This is certainly a tragedy for the family and the community as a whole. I know the victim's father and my most sincere condolences go out to their entire family during this time. It is very touching to see the heart warming comments of those who are showing true compassion for this family as well as sharing their own stories. God Bless!


Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

This is a horrible tragedy that I cannot imagine having to experience. That being said, if the mourning continues at the site of the accident there will be more. This is a notorious area for accidents and near misses. I understand everyone must do what they have to do for their grieving process, just be cautious.

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

please friends and students, do your visiting this area in the daylight. we just drove by about 9pm (in the dark) and there are MANY kids and MANY cars very close to whittaker road. we don't need another accident. please...

Ann English

Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 11:08 p.m.

Reading this less than 24 hours after a discussion at church about the area; I could not remember what kind of vehicles were involved in the crash at Whittaker and Merritt, but the high school came up, jogging my memory of seeing the larger-than-life statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of the school, next door to a church I delivered phone directories to, back in 1996. Tyler came up with a new sort of application of, "A gentle answer turns away wrath" (Proverbs 15:1). Causing laughter had to quench at least some of his mother's anger.