Jacksonville mother wants answers after her son, who had Down syndrome, was hit and killed on I-95

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville mother wants answers after her son, who had Down syndrome, was hit and killed by a sports utility vehicle last week on Interstate 95. The fatal crash took place just south of Clark Road.


She said that the circumstances surrounding her son’s death don’t add up.

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“Of course, I’m very saddened because Tirrell was a very happy child,” his mother said.

Terrellyn Simmons wants to know more about the death of her son. Tirrell Wiley, 19, who has Down syndrome, was killed by an SUV on Thur., Oct. 19.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the vehicle was traveling northbound on I-95 when Wiley was in the left lane. The SUV hit Tirrell, leaving him with fatal injuries. His mother said she was always around her son and didn’t know how he ended up on the interstate.

Read: Woman accused of negligent manslaughter in baby’s 2022 death, St. Johns deputies say

“I normally have to help him with his toiletry needs, I also helped him bathe,” Simmons said. “Between 9:30 and 9:45 I was assisting him with that, then I closed my door to get dressed, when I came out he wasn’t in the living room.”

His mother also said she assumed Wiley was with his older brother.

“So, I sat here and watched TV, and about 11 o’clock I went looking for him, because it was time for bed, and I couldn’t find him,” Simmons said. “That’s when I went out looking for him and filed a missing person police report.”

Simmons said her son attended Palm Avenue Exceptional Center and was a loving young man who loved to smile, give hugs to anyone he met, and dance. She believes that something was done to her son for him to end up on the highway.

Read: Person hurt in crash on San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department says

“He had Down syndrome to his mental capacity was like 5 to 7,” Simmons said. “I just felt like he came into foul play. Somebody saw him, did something to him, and then dropped him off on the highway.”

FHP said this incident is still under investigation, and the report does not mention the potential for foul play. But Simmons just wants more answers.

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“I did ask for a toxicology report to see if anything was in his system because it should’ve been,” Simmons said.

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