Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Day of family celebration ends in tragedy in Tampa

TAMPA -— It was a day meant for celebration.

Webster and Nancy Farns­worth drove to Clearwater on Friday morning for breakfast with their son, his pregnant wife and their granddaughter, Kaylee, who were visiting from Tallahassee. All morning, the grandparents doted on 3-year-old Kaylee, cuddling with her at the table. They gushed about getting to meet their new grandson in December.

Then the family gathering split up for the drive back to Tampa. Grandma and Grandpa took Kaylee with them in the minivan to run an errand. The others were to meet at their house. They were having a baby shower Saturday, so there was a lot to discuss.

But Webster and Nancy Farns­worth never made it to their West Tampa home. On their way to Publix about 3 p.m. Friday, a pickup truck driver ran a red light and crashed into the side of their van at the intersection of Habana Avenue and Hillsborough Avenue, killing the couple on impact, according to a Tampa police statement. Young Kaylee was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where is she recovering.

The truck driver, Eric McNeil, had minor injuries. He passed out while driving — the reason isn't yet known, police said, adding that he hit two street signs before striking the Farnsworths' van. Three other vehicles were involved in the crash, but no one else was injured. No charges had been filed Saturday.

At the hospital Saturday, Adam Farnsworth, 27, his wife, Crystal, and his brother, Aaron, 23, struggled to process the events of Friday afternoon. Webster, 63, and Nancy, 54, loved without condition and sacrificed without complaint, their sons said.

"We never went a moment in our lives without feeling loved by our parents," Adam Farns­worth said. "My dad was a hard worker who stood by us every step of the way. My mom was compassionate, patient and kind. She would do anything for anybody."

Webster and Nancy met in Gainesville more than 30 years ago, and moved to Tampa when they married. Nancy was a math teacher at H.B. Plant High School. Webster worked in management for a variety of tile distribution companies. The couple loved biking and traveling. They took trips to the mountains and swam with dolphins.

Both were respected by friends and colleagues, their sons said.

"She came in very early in the morning, helped teachers out and always had her door open in the afternoon tutoring students," said Rob Nelson, Plant High principal. "This is a devastating loss."

Students and faculty will have the opportunity to meet with counselors this week, Nelson said.

For family left behind, only the promise of Kaylee's smile helps ease the pain of the loss. The little girl's prognosis is good, her father said.

"I have no doubt that they are going to live forever in Kaylee," Aaron Farnsworth said. "The love that they poured out onto her, it will live on."

Sarah Whitman can be reached at (813) 661-2439 or swhitman@sptimes.com. Times staff writer Shelley Rossetter and researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report.

Day of family celebration ends in tragedy in Tampa 10/22/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 22, 2011 9:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Did a Cubs player give Trump the middle finger during a White House appearance?

    Ml

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on …

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on social media.
The photo, taken by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, purportedly shows outfielder Albert Almora Jr. flipping a bird while standing just feet from Trump as the other players were gathered around his desk. [Gordon Wittenmyer via Twitter]
  2. Despite no executions, Florida's death row keeps shrinking

    Blogs

    The last person executed in Florida was Oscar Ray Bolin on Jan. 7, 2016, making him the 92nd person to be executed since Florida resumed capital punishment in 1979. The last condemned inmate to join death row , convicted double-murderer Craig Wall of Pinellas County, arrived on June 6, 2016.

    The execution chamber at Florida State Prison
  3. Adele may never tour again: read her emotional note

    Blogs

    Adele is wrapping up a monster world tour, and it sounds like it took a lot out of her. 

    Adele left this note in her tour program, and fans posted it on Instagram.
  4. Trump goes off on 'Psycho Joe' and 'Crazy Mika'

    Blogs

    President Trump this morning lashed out at the Morning Joe crew and worked in a Florida reference, a remarkable personal attack from a figure who has been criticized for his treatment of women.

  5. National economy off to a luckluster start this year

    Business

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy got off to a lackluster start during the first three months of 2017, though it enjoyed more momentum than earlier estimates indicated.

    he U.S. economy got off to a lackluster start during the first three months of 2017, though it enjoyed more momentum than earlier estimates indicated.
[Associated Press file photo]