A 19-year-old lacrosse player for Saint Leo University was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Pasco County early Wednesday morning, Florida Highway Patrol troopers reported.
Ernest Blake Crownover, 19, died in the crash, which occurred at 12:48 a.m. Troopers said the crash happened as he was driving a 2018 Dodge Challenger west on State Road 52 approaching the right turn lane for the entrance ramp to Interstate 75.
For reasons troopers have not determined, Crownover’s vehicle went off the road and onto the north shoulder, where it hit a concrete support for the gantry displaying the entrance ramp sign for I-75.
Crownover, who troopers said is from Colorado, was pronounced dead at the scene.
University officials said Crownover was a goalie for the men’s lacrosse team and a member of the U.S. Air Force ROTC.
“Blake joyfully excelled at everything he did and made all of us better for having known him,” Brad Jorgensen, the Saint Leo University Men’s Lacrosse head coach, said in a statement.
Jeffrey Senese, the university president, said the school is tight-knit and nearly all know each other personally.
“Blake was a valuable member of our community and well-known and loved by his peers, fellow lacrosse teammates, and faculty and staff," he wrote in a statement. “We are all deeply saddened by his loss and are feeling the impact across University Campus today. He and his family are in all our prayers.”
In a news release, troopers said Crownover was wearing a seatbelt and that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.