Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Friends honor memory of UT student killed in car crash

TAMPA — Fifty friends of Tessa Byers gathered Monday night to honor her memory and tell her parents what made her an instant part of the University of Tampa family, a school official said.

Byers, 19, a student from Carmel, Ind., was traveling through Hernando County on Saturday night on the way to New Orleans for Mardi Gras when her friend's car left Interstate 75, overturned and ejected her, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

She died at the scene of the crash. She had been the only person in the car who was not wearing a seat belt, the accident report said.

The crash, which the Highway Patrol said did not involve alcohol, is still under investigation.

The other five students in the car — including the driver, 19-year-old Russell Colleran — were taken to hospitals with injuries that weren't life-threatening and have since been released, said Stephanie Russell Holz, associate dean of students at UT.

Holz said Byers' parents came to Tampa and hosted a dinner for her friends and heard their memories of the freshman criminology student.

"It's a great loss for us. We're just hoping that students take something from this … that they aspire to be the type of person Tessa was," Holz said.

After coming to Tampa in the fall, Byers got involved with the school's theater department and became the guitarist for a Christian meeting group, Campus Crusade for Christ, Holz said.

Friends told Holz that Byers always made everyone laugh and had a quick wit.

A memorial is being planned in Byers' honor. But because the university is on spring break, a date has not been set.

Friends honor memory of UT student killed in car crash 03/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Minors also a training ground for umpires with big-league dreams

    The Heater

    Umpire Tom Fornarola, 23, left, and Taylor Payne, 24, facing, talk before the start of the Gulf Coast League game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at the Tigertown complex in Lakeland, Fla. on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
  2. In Florida, nation's only lightning center closes after DARPA cuts funding

    Environment

    University of Florida professor Martin Uman usually spends much of this summer at an old Army base about an hour northeast of Gainesville, shooting rockets at thunderclouds, then measuring the bright flashes of lightning that followed.

    Rocket-and-wire triggered lightning at the University of Florida's International Center for Lightning Research and Testing, which recently lost federal funding. A rocket trailing a grounded wire is launched toward an active thunderstorm at the ICLRT. One launch is from a tower, one from ground. When the wire is about as high as the Empire State Building, lightning is induced to strike the top of the wire, much as it strikes tall objects like the ESB. Interestingly, the cloud charge source is about 3 miles high, so a 300 yard-long wire can cause a 3 mile or more long lightning.  After that, there are several normal tortuous strokes ( downward leaders from the cloud charge/upward return strokes) which can be seen as the wind blows the individual strokes to the right. The time between strokes is about 50 thousands of a second. Between some strokes, continuing current can be seen. Continuing current is what generally starts forest fires. [Photo by Dr. Dustin Hill]
  3. Editorial: Reasonable clarity on gambling in Florida

    Editorials

    Gambling expansion strategies — and misfires — are nearly an annual ritual in Florida. There were the eight counties that voted to allow slot machines but were blocked by the Florida Supreme Court. There was the governor's $3 billion deal with the Seminole Tribe in 2015 that was never approved by the …

    Gov. Rick Scott agreed to a much simpler deal with the Seminole Tribe that embraces the status quo instead of expansion. And that’s a good thing.
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Editorial: Hillsborough smartly embraces diversion program for youths

    Editorials

    Children who commit minor crimes can pay for their mistakes for a lifetime — losing a chance to attend college, join the military or obtain credit and a good job. That is unjust to the individuals and a burdensome cost to society, and Hillsborough County is taking the right new approach by giving some juveniles a …

    Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren has announced an agreement between law enforcement agencies and the courts that will allow first-time offenders who commit nonviolent crimes as juveniles to be issued civil citations rather than face an arrest and prosecution.