Jet ski crash victim from Clearwater leaving legacy of generosity

Helen "Teinell" Gore was involved in crash Sunday
Posted at 4:58 PM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 02:42:14-04

TAMPA — "She was so loving to so many people," says Gabrielle Gore, speaking of her daughter Helen. "She touched many hearts."

Helen Gore, known to friends and family as "Teinell," was killed by a jet ski crash at the Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa on Sunday.

Witnesses describe seeing a man riding backwards on the handlebars of his jet ski when he drove into the jet ski of Helen Gore.

Armando Fernandez, 41, of Tampa, died moments after the crash.

Witnesses pulled Helen from the water, doing CPR until paramedics arrived, but she later died from her injuries.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) officials say they are still investigating the crash.

"It makes you want to put a message out there that drinking and driving is serious," says Keosha Gore, the oldest of Helen Gore's 7 children.

"Not only did you cost your life but you cost another life and that's our mother," says Keosha to ABC Action News, speaking of the other jet ski driver that witnesses described riding recklessly, and drinking alcohol, in the moments before the crash.

"It's okay to show off. It's okay to have fun because that's something that [Helen] did. But what is not okay to do is, you're drinking and you're sitting on a jet ski backwards and you're not thinking," says Keosha from outside Tampa General Hospital on Wednesday.

Keosha and the Gore family are remembering "Teinell" as an outgoing, vibrant mother who was not only a caretaker to many family members, but a professional caretaker too, working as a resident aid for elderly patients in need of at-home assistance.

The long-time Tampa Bay Area resident's generosity will continue even now, as an organ donor.

Keosha was at the hospital to sign more paperwork, and help approve the organ donation process through the company LifeLink.

According to a spokesperson for LifeLink, a non-profit organ donation facilitation service, a donor like Helen Gore might be able to save many lives; as many as 8 people could receive life-saving organ donations from Gore, and through tissue donation -- which includes both skin and bone material -- as many as 70 people could be impacted by Gore's donations.

However, the donations won't be able to help the family pay for a proper funeral, so they are crowdfunding from friends, family and the community.

If you would like to help Gore's family, click HERE.

Gore's family is also questioning why there wasn't any law enforcement patrolling the waters near Ben T. Davis Beach on a busy weekend at a popular spot.

"There should be some kind of patrol sitting out there," says Keosha Gore to ABC Action News. "Like 100 feet, 200 feet away."

Tampa Police told ABC Action News on Tuesday that they patrol too much water, and don't have enough resources, to patrol the area along Ben T. Davis Beach all the time.

The Marine Unit of Tampa Police also points out that there are already rules against reckless riding, and expanding a "vessel exclusionary zone" that already covers much of the Ben T. Davis Beach wouldn't necessarily stop someone from riding recklessly.