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USFSM Graduate Killed in Car Accident

USF Sarasota-Manatee

For the second time in less than a week, a member of the University of South Florida family has been killed in a car accident. 

James Dylan Proctor, a recent graduate of USF Sarasota-Manatee, was killed in a car accident near Tampa early Wednesday.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, in an effort to to avoid an ABC Fine Wine & Spirits semi truck that overturned on southbound I-75, Proctor's car plunged more than 20 feet off the interstate into the Alafia River below. 

Credit Daniel Wallace / Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay Times
The car driven by USFSM graduate James Dylan Proctor after it was removed from the Alfia River Wednesday. Proctor was killed after an accident that sent his car off I-75 into the river.

The driver of the truck, Wayne Damari Weldon, has had his driver's license suspended six times and more than two dozen infractions in the last decade.

No ticket has been issued in Wednesday's accident, although an investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol continues.

The accident came days after four USF students were killed in a head-on collision with a driver going the wrong way on I-275 in Tampa. 

In a statement on the USF Sarasota-Manatee website, USF Sarasota-Manatee Arthur Guilford extended his condolences to Proctor's family and friends. 

The entire USF Sarasota-Manatee community is saddened by the tragic death of our recent graduate, James Dylan Proctor, who was so shockingly killed in a traffic accident near Tampa on Wednesday morning.  Dylan was an enthusiastic USF supporter, through-and-through.  He could always be found wearing university gear, and not only gave his all as coxswain for the USFSM rowing club, but also lent his talents as the club’s unofficial cook and musician. The perpetual smile on his face warmed the hearts of all who met him, whether faculty, staff or fellow students. We mourn the loss of a terrific person who brightened our lives and will always be remembered. I send my deepest personal condolences to Dylan’s extended family, friends and loved ones.

USFSM officials say Proctor, 42, earned his Bachelor of Science in Applied Science in December, 2013, with a concentration in Gerontology and a minor in Restaurant and Hospitality Management. He was taking a chemistry class this semester while working at Doctor’s Hospital as a respiratory therapist. 

Guilford added that students who want to speak to a counselor should contact the USFSM Counseling and Wellness Center at 941-487-4254, and faculty and staff can find help through the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-327-8705. 

Plans for a campus-wide memorial service for Proctor are under way. 

"To have a death in the family is very difficult not only for the family but for the campus community," USFSM dean of students Mary Beth Wallace told the Tampa Bay Times. "My heart really goes out to the family."

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