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Zephyrhills 17-year-old remembered for empathy, dedication after fatal all-terrain vehicle rollover

Jordan Ferrante Gennaro, 17, of Zephyrhills was injured when his all-terrain vehicle rolled over on June 1, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The Zephyrhills High School student died in a Tampa hospital on Saturday.
Jordan Ferrante Gennaro, 17, of Zephyrhills was injured when his all-terrain vehicle rolled over on June 1, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The Zephyrhills High School student died in a Tampa hospital on Saturday.
Published Jun. 6, 2017

ZEPHYRHILLS — A 17-year-old who lost control of his all-terrain vehicle last week and was seriously injured when it rolled over died in a Tampa hospital on Sunday.

The crash took place on Thursday around 2 p.m., according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Jordan Ferrante Gennaro, 17, of Zephyrhills was driving a 2003 Yamaha ATV northbound on Coolwood Drive toward the intersection with Kossik Road when the FHP said he lost control of the vehicle.

His father, Carl Ferrante Gennaro, said his son was swerving to avoid a car coming around a corner when the teen overcompensated, causing the vehicle to roll over. The 17-year-old and a passenger were both ejected from the ATV.

Jordan was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Two days later, he died of his injuries.

His passenger was a friend from church, Morgan Greene, 21, of Blountville, Tenn., according to the FHP. He suffered minor injuries in the crash and was treated at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills.

Neither were wearing helmets, troopers said.

Jordan was a junior at Zephyrhills High School. His father said what made his son stand out was his empathy for the needs of others.

"The thing that made Jordan so unique was that he tends to see what someone's needs were," he said. "The girl dancing in the corner with no one there, he was going to ask her to dance."

Jordan was the youngest of four brothers, and his family said that put a bit of a chip on his shoulder. The eldest sibling, C.J. Ferrante Gennaro, 25, said that ever since his youngest brother reached up to his thigh, he could remember Jordan's one wish:

"He always talked about how he wanted to be the biggest."

Eventually, Jordan got his wish. He was 6-foot-1 and weighed about 215 pounds. But he was the same kid, making Saturday brunch and reaching out to make friends with people from all kinds of different viewpoints.

Jordan was on the golf and tennis teams at Zephyrhills High, ran track and was on track to becoming salutatorian of his class, his family said. He planned to go to Ambassador Bible College in Cincinnati before returning home to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering, possibly at the University of South Florida.

Contact Chris Bowling at cbowling@tampabay.com or at (813) 435-7308. Follow @chrismbowling.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Jordan Ferrante Gennaro, 17, of Zephyrhills died Sunday as the result of injuries he suffered last week in a crash on an all-terrain vehicle. He was 6 feet, 1 inch tall. The date of his death and his height were incorrect in a story published Tuesday.