Advertisement
  1. Breaking News

For firefighter who died helping crash victim, public service was 'running through his veins'

The impulse that led Wesley Weysham to serve the public as a career was the same one that put him on the side of a highway Sunday, Sarasota fire chief says
A Toyota Tacoma burned on impact after it was hit by two drivers early Sunday. Wesley Weysham, who had stopped to help with the first crash, died in a second collision.
A Toyota Tacoma burned on impact after it was hit by two drivers early Sunday. Wesley Weysham, who had stopped to help with the first crash, died in a second collision.
Published Feb. 25, 2019

Wesley Weysham, a retired firefighter and paramedic who died while giving medical attention to a crash victim on Interstate 75, was remembered by his former boss at Sarasota County Fire Department on Monday.

During a news conference at Fire Station 16, county Fire Chief Michael Regnier said Weysham, 59, "had public service running through his veins."

In addition to his tenure with Sarasota County from 2007 to 2017, Weysham was a Navy veteran and a volunteer with Sarasota K-9 Search and Rescue. Weysham's bloodhounds helped in the search for 11-year-old Carlie Brucia, whose abduction was captured on surveillance video in the days before her body was found during February 2004.

The impulse that led Weysham to a lifetime of public service was the same one that put him on the side of southbound I-75 early Sunday morning, Regnier said.

Weysham stopped near mile marker 254 at the scene of a collision between a Toyota truck and a Buick sedan, said Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

Weysham pulled 32-year-old George Evans out of the truck and onto the left shoulder of the road. Evans had been driving impaired, the Highway Patrol said. As Weysham treated Evans, a Toyota sedan driven by 24-year-old Samuel Flores crashed into Evans' truck, the Highway Patrol said.

The vehicle spun, hit Weysham and burst into flames. Weysham was killed at the scene.

Charges in the incident are still pending, and investigators are still looking into the crash, Gaskins said Monday.

At the news conference, Regnier read a brief statement from Weysham's family, who called the man a "beloved husband, stepfather, grandfather, brother uncle and friend."

Weysham was serious about public service, and about his love for America, but he also loved to joke around, his family said.

Weysham's family is still ironing out the details of his funeral service, Regnier said. But the family has said that mourners are encouraged to donate to Sarasota K-9 Search and Rescue.

As for Weysham's fateful decision to stop at the scene of the crash?

"I know that Wes would have stopped again," Regnier said. "I know he would have."

Contact Kirby Wilson at kwilson@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8793. Follow @kirbywtweets.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, left, and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody were appointed to the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice by Attorney General Bob Barr. [Tampa Bay Times]
    Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody will also join a commission that will “explore modern issues affecting law enforcement," according to the Department of Justice.
  2. Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy Alton Smith helps recover items Wednesday from Lake Twitt in Odessa during a dive team practice. Divers used the drill to search for evidence of a forgotten African American cemetery nearby. [CHRIS URSO   |  Times]
    Keystone Memorial Cemetery was established by a freed slave and disappeared in the 1950s. The dive team chose Lake Twitt to do its monthly practice.
  3. The northbound lanes of I-275 were closed for more than four hours early Tuesday morning as troopers investigated a deadly crash. [Florida Highway Patrol]
    Police pulled over their vehicle for driving the wrong way on Fifth Avenue S, but the driver took off and crashed shortly after.
  4. Booking photo of Tyler Andrew Garrison, accused of approaching a stranger in downtown St. Pete, cutting him on his jaw and demanding his wallet. The victim suffered cut that required 20 stitches, police said. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    The victim suffered a cut to his jaw that required 20 stitches, according to St. Petersburg police.
  5. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
File photo of a Firefighter/Paramedics unit from Clearwater Fire Rescue taken on 4/18/17. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    The election comes at a pivotal time for unions.
  6. Joseph Hernandez Hall is home to the University of Florida's chemistry department, where a faculty member recently resigned after officials discovered he failed to disclose his strong ties to China. While at UF, the faculty member also held positions at two Chinese universities, including vice president and dean. The faculty member was not named in a report obtained Tuesday from the Florida Legislature. [University of Florida]
    They also collected grant money from the U.S. government while never disclosing their outside work in China.
  7. The four candidates for Clearwater mayor in 2020. Clockwise from the top left: Frank Hibbard, Morton Myers, Bill Jonson and Elizabeth "Sea Turtle" Drayer. [[Frank Hibbard (Courtesy of Hibbard); Morton Myers [Douglas R. Clifford | Times]; Bill Jonson [Douglas R. Clifford | Times]; Elizabeth "Sea Turtle" Drayer; (Courtesy of Drayer)]
    We might learn a great deal about a key election in Tampa Bay.
  8. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, center, vehemently declines to turn over the key to the city to members of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla at downtown's Lykes Gaslight Square Park on Tuesday. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
    The mayor puts her own stamp on the Tampa tradition with schoolchildren and her office dog, Alcadesa.
  9. The area will be closed to drivers headed north and south from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. through Friday.
  10. A new report to the Florida Legislature details the investigation that led to the forced resignations of six Moffitt Cancer Center employees in December, including president and CEO Dr. Alan List. [Moffitt Cancer Center]
    The money came from the “Thousand Talents Program” and went to personal accounts set up in China.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement