Father ‘trying to be strong’ for surviving children after wreck

A photo of Jadyn Tyson of Gulfport shared by his father, Lakendrick Tyson, was taken Saturday before a two-vehicle accident that killed the 8-year-old.
A photo of Jadyn Tyson of Gulfport shared by his father, Lakendrick Tyson, was taken Saturday before a two-vehicle accident that killed the 8-year-old. Courtesy of Tyson family

Lakendrick Tyson can’t believe he will never talk to his 8-year-old son again.

Tyson was in North Mississippi, where he works in construction, when he got a call Saturday morning from his son, Jadyn. Jadyn just wanted to say hello and see how his dad was doing. His mother had gotten the children a phone they could talk on, and Jadyn was just happy to be able to call.

He called again while his father was at a cousin’s football game. Father and son planned to catch up later, when the game was over.

“I never got a chance to talk to my son,” Tyson said. “I ain't going to get a chance to talk to my boy no more.”

Jadyn died after a two-vehicle accident Saturday night at U.S. 49 and Orange Grove Road. His mother, Shaquala Gordon, had taken her four children and her niece to Wal-Mart for movies. They were on their way home.

Gulfport police say she ran a red light in her Dodge minivan, hitting a Dodge Charger. None of the children were wearing seat belts. All were rushed to the hospital.

Mother ticketed

Jadyn died in the emergency room at Garden Park Medical Center, Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said. He said Jadyn suffered blows to the head and chest, and was partially ejected from the van. The other children careened around the van, too.

Lakendrick Tyson said Gordon and their three surviving children were all out of the hospital Sunday morning. Their niece was still hospitalized with a broken leg, he said, but was going to be OK. The couple in the Dodge Charger were taken to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, but their names were not released and their conditions are unknown.

Shaquala Gordon, 27, was ticketed on misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and DUI. Tyson said the DUI charge would not have been for drinking because his girlfriend rarely drank and had not been drinking Saturday evening. He drove all night to get home after he heard about the accident.

“She wasn't under the influence of anything at all,” Tyson said. “ She was headed home to go be with our babies. She did everything she could for them to make sure they were taken care of. Every time I have been out of town working, she has been the one taking care of my kids.

“She's a great mother. People can say (what they want) but don't nobody really know. She kind of feels like it’s her fault and it's really hard on her right now, but we're going to make it through this.”

‘At a loss’

Jadyn, he said, was the family comedian. He loved Tyler Perry’s Madea movies. He would come out of his room dressed as Madea, a rapper, a cowboy — whatever it took to get a laugh, his dad said.

Jadyn was in the third grade at Harrison Central Elementary and previously had attended Lyman Elementary. His father said he was a good student, very bright.

Jadyn’s body will be transferred from a Coast funeral home to Oxford for burial. Lakendrick Tyson is from the small community of Taylor in North Mississippi.

Tyson is trying to be strong for his remaining children, who are 9, 7 and 5. His niece, he said, is a toddler.

“They knew from last night that he was already gone,” Tyson said. “They are taking it bad, but they're kids. They kind of know. They really don't understand the full extent.

“I'm just at a loss for words, just missing my baby. Man, I just wish I could have gotten here to my baby. It's so hard to try to not cry, not be emotional. It's hard trying to be strong for my other kids and not let them see me cry.”

Staff Writer Justin Mitchell contributed to this report.

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99