Family: Teen had turned his life around
GOFFSTOWN - It's a picture found in thousands of settings across America: two young men, clad in cap and gown, embracing one another.
Accomplishment. Celebration. Anticipation, all wrapped up in a single image.
But every picture tells a story, and for Tyler Walsh, it was one of determination. He had dropped out of Bedford High School as a junior, only to enroll later in the school's adult education program, friends said.
Walsh graduated alongside his younger brother in 2011, with a diploma in hand and a renewed focus on life.
'He turned his life around,' said Kyle Norton, who went through the adult education program with Walsh at Bedford High School. 'He was on the right path completely. He loved his work; he figured he wanted to be an EMT.'
The 19-year-old's life ended abruptly on Monday, when a metal staging bracket fell from a house he was working to build in Manchester. A piece of the bracket embedded in his skull, and he was pronounced dead at Elliot Hospital a couple of hours later.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the fatality, which took place about 11 a.m. Monday.
Norton was among the friends and relatives who stopped by the Walsh home, located on Elm Street in Goffstown on the shore of Glen Lake. Patricia Walsh and her two sons had moved there last summer, a few months after her sons graduated from Bedford High.
'He was always smiling and happy,' said his grandfather, Dave Givens. 'He gave his mom a few gray hairs; we all do that.'
He remembers a young man who got down on the floor with his younger cousins to goof around with them, as well as a youth who spent time with his great-grandmother.
'He cared about life. He cared about people. He warmed your heart,' said Givens, who traveled from Virginia to be with the family.
At Bedford High School Tuesday, a couple students spoke to counselors, who were put on notice of Walsh's death, said Bill Hagen, the school principal. Walsh's death was mentioned in small circles of students, mostly those who knew his younger brother, Justin Walsh, who graduated last year, Hagen said.
Tyler Walsh had his interests: he was a member of the Daily Driven Car Club and was saving up to buy a sporty Mazda. He took mixed martial arts at Murphy's Gym on Lake Avenue in Manchester for a couple of years, said his friend, Greg Beaulieu.
'He was a lot bigger than me,' Beaulieu said about his occasional sparring partner. Vicious in the ring? 'You could say that,' Beaulieu said. And he loved the outdoors, said his grandmother, Dottie Givens.
But in the last three months, he seemed more focused on work than anything else, Norton said.
'No matter who you were, he wanted what was best for you,' Norton said. 'He wanted to make you happy. He didn't like to see people upset.'