Ret. firefighter-medic killed while helping stranded motorist

After witnessing a crash, Wes Weysham was providing medical care, when another vehicle came upon the scene and crashed into it


Carlos R. Munoz
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY — A retired Sarasota County firefighter was killed Sunday while trying to help at the scene of a fiery drunk-driving crash on Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County.

"Sarasota K9 Search & Rescue is grieving the loss of one of our own today," the search and rescue group said in a statement Sunday night. "Wes Weysham died this morning in the truest form of selflessness; he was killed when he stopped to help a motorist on I-75 in Riverview."

A retired Sarasota County firefighter was killed Sunday while trying to help at the scene of a fiery drunk-driving crash. (Photo/Florida Highway Patrol)
A retired Sarasota County firefighter was killed Sunday while trying to help at the scene of a fiery drunk-driving crash. (Photo/Florida Highway Patrol)

Weysham joined Sarasota K9 Search & Rescue in 1998 as a volunteer K9 handler and most recently served as a Land Navigation Instructor.

"Rest in peace Wes," the statement said. "You will be in our hearts forever."

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, at 4:39 a.m., a Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck driven by George Edward Evans III, 32, of Ruskin, stopped for unknown reasons on the inside travel lane of southbound Interstate 75 at mile marker 254, close to the U.S. 301 exit.

Veronica Gonzalez, 31, of Ruskin, the driver of a 2003 Buick LeSabre — unable to stop in time — struck Evans truck, and both vehicles came to rest in the southbound travel lanes of I-75.

Wesley Weysham, Jr., 59, of North Port, who was also traveling southbound, witnessed the crash and came to the aid of Evans. He pulled the driver to the inside shoulder to provide medical care.

A third vehicle, a 2010 Toyota Camry driven by Samuel Maldonado Flores, 24, of Ruskin, came upon the crash scene but did not see either of the vehicles. Flores struck Evan's truck, which rotated and hit Weysham.

The good Samaritan died from his injuries at the scene.

The pickup truck burst into flames after the secondary collision and was destroyed.

Evans and Gonzalez were both transported to Tampa General. Evans was treated for minor injuries while Gonzalez is listed in serious condition.

Maldonado was taken to St. Joseph's South in Riverview and treated for minor injuries.

FHP noted that charges are pending.

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©2019 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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