The cool night air was in his face as Ian Tilmann made his last run down the hill on Hercules Avenue in Clearwater, FL. Police later said Ian was going about 20 mph.

The 28-year-old U.S. Marine Corp veteran and two friends had been skateboarding down the street for several hours. But this would be Ian's last run.

At the foot of the hill the front wheels on his longboard locked up. He was hurled into the night, tumbling headfirst to the hard pavement. Like many other veteran boarders, he wore no helmet.

The impact cracked open his skull from ear to ear. Doctors later said there was evidence of at least four areas of injury to his brain. In the hospital, Ian had to be restrained as he became violent and tried to pull out the intravenous needles and stand up. The doctors said this was evidence of deep brain injuries.

Doctors induced a coma to keep him calm and he was placed on life-supporting machines. But Ian's brain was swelling inside of his skull – pressing against the bone. In the following days, doctors fought the swelling; brain surgery was done to try to help relieve the pressure.

Ten days later, May 26, 2005, Ian Tilmann died. If Ian had been wearing a helmet, he would still be alive.

In the days following Ian's accident, the family remained in a state of shock & disbelief...but he was only skateboarding!

In memory of Ian, the family has made a commitment to promote helmet use to skateboarders. The family decided on buying helmets and giving them to skateboarders for free if they pledged first to wear the helmet whenever they rode their boards. The program was first launched in Safety Harbor’s skateboard park. The City of Safety Harbor dedicated their skate park to Ian Tilmann in April 2007 & renamed it The Ian Tilmann Skate Park.

In November 2005, The Ian Tilmann Foundation was created in memory of our son. The Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity. The Ian Tilmann Foundation's "Helmet For A Promise" program provides free custom-ordered skater's helmets to skateboarders nationwide that promise to wear the helmet whenever they skate. The Foundation created the "Skate Smart Project" to help get the information out to skateboarders about the risk of brain injuries when skateboarding without a helmet. Remember Ian's message to all skateboarders....

"Skate Smart...Wear A Helmet...Live To Skate Tomorrow!"

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Comment by jean jenkins on March 14, 2010 at 2:29pm
Sorry it has taken so long to respond. I have been going through something almost as bad as loosein my Jason. His wife moved another man into the house just weeks after he was killed. This man is younger than her never had children and never been around children. I started noticing things that I did not like but kept it to myself until I couldn't stand it any more. Then I told the children's mother that the boyfriend needed to let up he was being tooo hard on the children. Well I picked the children up one night because the schools were closed the next day and when we got to my house I went to change the baby's [20 mo old] diaper and he had sickenig bruieses on him. Before we got to my house my 8 yo grand daughter told me that the night before he made her pull her pants down and he whipped her with a belt. So needless to say they became angry with me because I would not let it go. I told my nephew who is an ER doc and he reported it. The chioldren were taken from mom and placed with me. I had them 3 weeks and DHS did nothing in this time . The gdaughter was having a hard time and started to have headaches and told me she wanted to hurt herself I called DHS and they did nothing so I took her to her dr. Well to make this long story short my atty ask for a review hearing and the DHS got angry because I was accusying them of not doing their jobs. They and mom's atty told the judge a bunch of lies and he placed the children with their other g.parents and I can only see them at their house if they want to let me. Sounds like a bunch of underhanded stuff going on because I was not allowed to defend myself or tell the judge what really happened.I am the only one that was willing to call attention to the abuse the children were going through not evev the other g.parents would do anything and I am paying the price. The abuser has never been charged with anything and brought his atty. to the hearing we requested and when the judge went around the room and ask everyone who they were and their relationship to the children his atty. stood up and told the judge that he was the one that spanked the child and that he and the childs mother were getting married. Judge made them leave the courtroom and allowed the abuserto drive away in his truck.

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