Benefit set for family of man fatally injured while helping crash victim

DOVER — He died how he lived — selflessly helping somebody else.
Shawn Shannon Jr., 25, was leisurely walking home following a Wendy’s restaurant visit at around 9:55 p.m. last Tuesday when everything changed suddenly.

Two nearby vehicles collided on U.S. 13 in wet road conditions and he bolted toward them to assist victims. Tragically, Mr. Shannon was fatally struck when a third vehicle entered the area near Webbs Lane in south Dover.

“His friend who was walking with him told me later, ‘It happened so fast and I was so scared, a vehicle was smoking and it seemed so dangerous,’” Shawn’s mother Dawn recalled on Monday.

“Shawn apparently dropped his food and went over to where it happened and was in the process of getting (a motorist) out of her car when he was hit.”

While still shocked that her son is gone forever, his heroic actions were no surprise, Mrs. Shannon said, because “that’s who Shawn was. I know he was helping, I understand that, but I just wish he would have stayed home. I know there’s no taking back what happened, though.”

Mr. Shannon was pronounced dead on Friday, three days after the incident. He entered Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover in critical condition before succumbing to his injuries.

Mrs. Shannon’s son’s organs were donated.
“He’s keeping others alive, including one person who now has his wonderful heart inside them,” Mrs. Shannon said.

Deborah Young, 67, died from her injuries and two other motorists suffered minor injuries, were treated at the hospital and released, Dover Police said. No charges were immediately filed as investigation continued.

Mrs. Shannon remembered her late son — nicknamed “Spiderman” — as a mentor and coach to children through his passions for skateboarding and cheerleading, He was a tumbling coach for Capital Cheer Elite Allstar Academy in Wyoming and past member of the Sixers Dunk Squad that performs at NBA games in Philadelphia, she said.

He had attended Smyrna High School.
In the tragedy’s short aftermath, vigils were held in Rehoboth Beach, Smyrna and Connecticut (where Shawn once lived), and Shawn’s mother said more public tributes are likely coming.
“Since it happened I’ve been amazed at how many people have reached out with stories about how Shawn helped their children in so many ways, whether it be building their self esteem, pushing them to reach their potential, improving their skills or just having someone to talk to,” Mrs. Shannon said.

“I’ve been like ‘Wow’ because I really had no idea how many people he was involved with in such positive ways.”

On Wednesday a benefit will be held at Whiskey Throttle Bar & Grill where Mr. Shannon’s cousin Luz Cannon is a manager. The event at 1804 Newport Gap Pike in Wilmington begins at 8 p.m.

“Shawn was just a great guy who touched a lot of lives in his 25 years,” said Luz, who learned of the benefit from Whiskey Throttle staff who organized it to her surprise.

“He did the right thing, which is something that runs in our family. That’s the way we were all raised, to do the right thing and that’s just what he did.”
Responding to a string of condolences and tributes on one Facebook post, Mrs. Shannon responded with:

“I want to thank you all, this is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to deal with in my entire life, a mother should never have to feel this, I appreciate you all as it means a lot to us.”

Mr. Shannon leaves behind his mother and father Shawn Sr., siblings Mariah, Noah and Arika, and his own 4-year-old daughter Aubree. Funeral arrangements were being finalized on Monday, his mother said.

A “Skate for Shawn” gofundme.com account was established to assist in service expenses.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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