Franca Nielson: Thank you, to our community |

Franca Nielson: Thank you, to our community

On March 25, 2018, my son Tyler Nielson was killed when a drunk driver chose to get behind the wheel of a car.

Since that day, my family has discovered, even more than we thought before, what an amazing community we live in. The amount of support and love we have received has been overwhelming.

From the hundreds of people that mourned with us at Tyler’s funeral service, to the hundreds who assembled at his beloved football field, to the meals being delivered to us, to the fundraisers and all the other little things to help us on a daily basis is beyond words. I thought to myself, ‘How do I begin to thank everyone?’ Is there an etiquette for thank you after losing a child? I never thought I would need to know the answers to these questions. I thought what a better way to thank our community than through our local newspaper.

Sean and I would like to send a special thank you to our employers — Peter’s Drilling and Pump, and the entire Peter’s family, and to Kane’s/Maria’s, and the entire Ramos family, for being patient and supportive of us through this process.

The amount of support and love we have received has been overwhelming.

We will be sending out a personal thank you to all those wonderful companies who have put together fundraisers for the families and the wonderful group of people who coordinated all the events and the meal train. This letter is to the hundreds and hundreds of people in our community who stopped what they were doing to help support us and continue to reach out on a daily basis.

My family and I are very grateful for the decision we made to move to Grass Valley. This community enriched our lives and the lives of our children, Nina and Tyler, like we couldn’t have imagined. Tyler’s short 17 years were full of wonderful friends, coaches, teachers and experiences that enriched his life beyond that of someone far older.

My daughter Nina, who now lives and works in Chicago, was sharing all the wonderful ways our community has supported us with her coworkers and someone asked, “Where is this utopia you grew up in?”

Her answer: “Grass Valley.”

So Grass Valley and Nevada County, Sean, Nina, our extended family and I thank you.

If anyone would like to help out by writing a victim impact statement that we can use in court, please forward to Franca Nielson at

Franca Nielson lives in Grass Valley.

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