Outcomes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) vary because of differences in primary and secondary injuries. Primary injuries occur at the time of a traumatic event, whereas secondary injuries occur later as a result of cellular and molecular events activated in the brain and other tissues by primary injuries. We used a Drosophila melanogaster TBI model to investigate secondary injuries that cause acute mortality. By analyzing mortality percentage within 24 hr of primary injuries, we previously found that age at the time of primary injuries and diet afterward affect the severity of secondary injuries. Here, we show that secondary injuries peaked in activity 1-8 hr after primary injuries. Additionally, we demonstrate that age and diet activated distinct secondary injuries in a genotype-specific manner, and that concurrent activation of age- and diet-regulated secondary injuries synergistically increased mortality. To identify genes involved in secondary injuries that cause mortality, we compared genome-wide mRNA expression profiles of uninjured and injured flies under age and diet conditions that had different mortalities. During the peak period of secondary injuries, innate immune response genes were the predominant class of genes that changed expression. Furthermore, age and diet affected the magnitude of the change in expression of some innate immune response genes, suggesting roles for these genes in inhibiting secondary injuries that cause mortality. Our results indicate that the complexity of TBI outcomes is due in part to distinct, genetically controlled, age- and diet-regulated mechanisms that promote secondary injuries and that involve a subset of innate immune response genes.