Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Victim in fatal crash on I-75 known for kindness, youthful spirit



James Dylan Proctor was on his way home after a night watching Trey Anastasio, the lead singer of the rock band Phish, perform at the House of Blues in Orlando on Tuesday.

Proctor, 42, made time for the concert despite his hectic schedule juggling work as a respiratory therapist at Doctor's Hospital in Sarasota and going to school at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. He went by himself.

He would never return to the home he built in Parrish with his girlfriend of five years, Terri Stovall, and her two grown children.

Proctor was traveling south on Interstate 75 in his 2011 BMW at 2:36 a.m. Wednesday when his car was clipped by a semitrailer truck driven by Wayne Damari Waldon, 30, of Lakeland. His car veered off the road and plunged into the Alafia River, just before Gibsonton Road. Proctor died at the scene.

Waldon's driving record shows 27 violations and six suspensions over the last 10 years. Despite that, he was able to drive a semi because a bad driving record does not necessarily disqualify someone from receiving a commercial driver's license, state officials said.

Proctor, who was known as Dylan, was born in Birmingham, Ala., the only child of Jimmy and Brenda Proctor.

Stovall's son, Chris Hembrough, 26, saw Proctor less as a father figure and more as a close friend.

They were both drummers and walked together at USF's graduation in December. Proctor earned a bachelor of science degree in applied science with a concentration in gerontology, and a minor in restaurant and hospitality management.

He went back to school this semester and enrolled in a chemistry class. "Dylan and I became very close very quick because he was just a very generous person," Hembrough said.

When he wasn't in scrubs, Proctor let his Bulls pride shine with his USF sweatshirt. A USF flag flew from his car door.

Though Proctor was old enough to be a father to many of his classmates, he was active in student life. He was the coxswain for the campus rowing club and served for one year in student government.

"He was 42 but he had the attitude and the spirit of a 20-year-old," Hembrough said. "He just kind of fit in wherever he was."

Mary Beth Wallace, dean of students at USF Sarasota-Manatee, called Proctor's family Thursday to offer her condolences and propose an idea to hold a memorial for Proctor.

"To have a death in the family is very difficult not only for the family but for the campus community," she said. "My heart really goes out to the family."

Proctor's parents are making private arrangements for the family in Birmingham. Hembrough believes Proctor, an animal lover and avid birdwatcher, would have requested that donations be made to bird sanctuaries in his memory.

"I just want people to know that he was the kindest, sweetest person," he said.

Victim in fatal crash on I-75 known for kindness, youthful spirit 02/13/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival wraps up with Above and Beyond, more at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    The first numbers trickled in on Sunday, and they didn't look great.

    Louis the Child performed at the Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium on May 28, 2017.
  2. Philippines forces make gains in city under siege by ISIS-linked militants

    MARAWI, Philippines — Philippine forces say they now control most of a southern city where militants linked to the Islamic State group launched a bloody siege nearly a week ago.

  3. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  4. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  5. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.