The Kyle W. Kiihnl Memorial Foundation was established in memory of Kyle, a Houston High School student from Germantown, TN. In May 2002, a young driver fell asleep at his wheel and drifted onto a sidewalk. Kyle was not able to escape the oncoming car.
Kyle started wrestling as a freshman at Houston when he weighed 98 pounds. He focused all of his attention on practicing and improved substantially by his sophomore year. Unfortunately, an injury at the beginning of his sophomore year kept Kyle from competing with his team. However, he continued to attend every practice and support his teammates. He competed his junior year and placed in his weight class in several competitions.
Kyle was a very intelligent, sensitive and funny guy. He had a dry sense of humor and would say the most unexpected things. He was an amazing older brother to his younger sister, who was only four years old when he died. Kyle was the most easy-going guy to ever walk the earth. He always saw the glass half-full and took all problems with a grain of salt. When he wasn’t wrestling, he enjoyed spending time on his computer, playing guitar, or working on his car.
After his death, the outpouring of support that his family received showed just how special Kyle was to many people. The Houston High School Wrestling Booster Club initiated a memorial scholarship fund in Kyle’s name to be given to the wrestler at Houston High School that “exceeded expectation”. Those were the words Head Coach Walt Holmes described Kyle at the wrestling banquet just one month prior to Kyle’s death.
We decided to keep the tradition going by starting the Kyle W. Kiihnl Memorial Foundation. Hopefully, Kyle’s death will serve a reminder to our community that people must take great care when getting behind the wheel.They saw how his tragic death affected so many young lives.
Since 2002, the Kyle W. Kiihnl Memorial Foundation has given yearly college scholarships to local high school seniors. Each year, the foundation has a fund raising event, the Eye Opener 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Run. The purpose is to support the foundation’s education programs and the scholarship fund.
We provide high school seniors in Shelby county schools and local private schools the Drowsy Driving Information card. The card provides the warning signs of drowsy driving and strategies for dealing with the fatigue. These cards are also given to the racers at the Eye Opener 5K and are distributed to drivers in the TN highway rest stops.
We are currently working with the Tennessee Department of Highway Safety to display the Don’t Drive Drowsy message on Tennessee interstate overhead message boards. In August of 2012, the Don’t Drive Drowsy message was run on the in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville. After the initial rotation, the Please Don’t Drive Drowsy message will go into rotation with other Tennessee safety messages.
We also support the National Sleep Foundation by making donations to their research on drowsy driving.
Due in part through our education efforts. the rate of drowsy driving fatalities has been reduced by 18% in Shelby county, TN, our home county.
We thank you for your support of the Kyle W. Kiihnl Memorial foundation. By contributing to this endeavor, you are helping raise awareness of the dangers of Drowsy Driving. AWARENESS SAVES LIVES!
Copyright Kyle W Kiihnl Memorial Foundation. All rights reserved.
03/20/1985 - 05/05/2002