Franklin Pierce student dies following skateboard accident
Jamie Mayer, 19, of Coventry, R.I., suffered a traumatic brain injury after he and another Franklin Pierce student crashed into each other while skateboarding on campus April 8.
"We had two who were skateboarding through Pierce Drive. They bumped into each other for whatever reason," said fire chief Rick Donovan, who responded to the scene. "They crashed into each other. He fell, hitting his head on the street. No head gear, no protective gear on him."
Mayer was lying unconscious in the street when emergency responders arrived.
He was bleeding severely from the head and was taken to Cathedral of the Pines where a helicopter flew him to UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.
He was taken to the intensive care unit and listed in critical condition.
He was in a medically induced coma the entire time he was hospitalized, his mother Ellen Mayer said Tuesday.
He was recovering from surgery when pneumonia struck him and he died late Saturday night, his mother said.
Jamie was not a skateboarder and just happened to join a group of friends skateboarding that day, Ellen Mayer said.
"Something that my son did not do was skateboard," she said. "I don't know if that makes it more heartbreaking or ironic. He held on for 12 days, but ultimately the pneumonia got too hard for him to fight."
He had yet to pick a major at Franklin Pierce, but he was having such a good time and had made so many new friends, his mother used to joke to him that his major was fun.
"He was great kid. He loved music, played the guitar. He loved Metallic and Megadeath, all the old bands. He was a true rocker. He was a big brother and he was the best big brother to his younger sister Alexa. He was just a good kid all round. He never, never, never gave me a lick of trouble. He was very happy at Franklin Pierce, had a lot of friends there and was definitely living life large."
The family created a Facebook page for the Jamie Mayer Memorial Fund.
The fund was originally for Jamie, but will now go to a good cause, either the UMass ICU or a brain injury fund, Ellen Page said.
"That staff on that ICU unit were incredible. They were in tears when this happened," Ellen Mayer said of UMass Medical staff.
Donovan said Tuesday he was saddened to hear of Mayer's death.
After the accident he had reached out to Franklin Pierce University officials about creating strategies for some kind of preventative or awareness measures stressing the importance of students wearing protective gear and helmets when skateboarding.
Over the past few years town EMTs have responded to the campus for skateboarding accidents about half a dozen times, Donovan said.
Many of these students had injuries because they had not worn helmets or protective gear, he said.
"It's unfortunate that it happened, but I think we really need to push the issue of wearing the helmets and the pads," Donovan said. "Any given day you go up there you see somebody whipping by on a skateboard, just as fast as any cars down there."