BROOKSVILLE — He liked comic books and Walt Disney World and reading adventure stories. He was funny and was often told he was wise beyond his years. He wanted to be a professor like his mother and was learning how to play the piano.
That's what friends will remember about 9-year-old Logan Andrew Scherer, who was killed Thursday afternoon in a six-car crash on Interstate 75 near State Road 50.
His mother, father and 5-year-old sister were all seriously injured in the crash.
"He was a little prince, the sweetest thing in the world," said Santiago Echeverry, a close friend of the family and co-worker of Logan's mother, Brooke Scherer, 35, an associate professor of graphic design at the University of Tampa.
"The family is absolutely beautiful," Echeverry said. "They have all the love in the world, and it shows."
Logan Scherer was in the left back seat of his family's Mazda when Gregory M. Andriotis, 33, slammed into the rear of that car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
While the other five cars in front of Andriotis' 2012 Hyundai Genesis were traveling slowly due to an accident at the 305 mile marker, he failed to slow or stop, troopers said.
After the Deltona man hit the Mazda near the 302 mile marker, it created a chain-reaction involving the five other cars at 3:34 p.m., troopers said
Logan's father, Jordan Scherer, 37, a production assistant at Tampa marketing firm Marketing In Color, was driving the Mazda. Also in the car were his mother and sister, Mallory Scherer. All are being treated at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.
No one else was injured in the crash, and troopers do not think alcohol was a factor. The FHP, however, is still investigating.
In November 2009, though, Andriotis was convicted of driving under the influence in Duval County. He has two speeding tickets on his record — one for driving 71 mph in a 45 mph zone in 2001 — and was convicted of reckless driving in 2014 in Volusia County. Andriotis could not be reached Friday for comment.
Logan's fourth-grade classmates and teachers at Symmes Elementary School in Riverview learned of the crash Friday morning. Grief counselors were stationed at the school all day, and students wrote cards for Logan and his family decorated with hearts and roses.
"I will miss you. Your jokes that you made, they were funny. You always help me when I need it," wrote one student.
"He was always kind to everyone and he never left anybody alone," wrote another.
It's a harsh blow to the University of Tampa family, said Haig Mardirosian, dean of the University's College of Arts and Letters. Brooke Scherer, who joined the university in 2010 and earned tenure as an associate professor in 2014, has more than 50 students in her classes this semester.
"Brooke has brought to her teaching a sense of true authenticity and that's a rare quality," Mardirosian said. "She has established herself as a professional, a scholar and a productive person. I have tremendous respect for what she does for us."
Every year she takes students on trips to New York City to meet with top graphics designers and blogs about their experiences, Echeverry said. Last year, she took her students on a tour of Europe.
In the back of her classroom, you could frequently find her son, the budding professor. Logan would quietly read or play video games, Echeverry said. Sometimes, like the rest of her students, he would simply get caught up in his mother's enthusiasm and "brilliant wit," he said.
Anything Logan loved, from soccer to Star Wars, his family loved, too. They all share a passion for life, Echeverry said. The thing they love most, though, is each other.
"I think most of all Logan was Mallory's big brother," Echeverry said. "He was very protective of her. They would fight and there would be tears and everything, but at the end of the day he was her big hero."
Times staff researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Anastasia Dawson at email@example.com or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.