Bristol family creates scholarship fund for future engineers to honor fatal crash victim
LIBERTY COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) - A Bristol, Florida, family is turning immense grief into action after a father, husband and son was killed in a car crash in early June.
Jeremy Fletcher was an engineer at the Florida Department of Transportation. In the aftermath of his death, his family is now raising thousands of dollars to start a new scholarship effort.
Fletcher was just 50 years old when he died, leaving behind a wife and three sons. But not before leaving a lasting memory for nearly everyone he met.
Those that knew Fletcher the best say his life philosophy was impossible to ignore.
Benjamin Fletcher is reflecting on his father’s life just weeks after his death.
“He couldn’t keep smiles off people’s faces,” he said. “He may forget meeting you, but you wouldn’t forget meeting him. He was my number one man, he was the person I looked up to.”
Fletcher was killed in a head-on crash on Highway 20 near the Leon County-Gadsden County line. In an instant, a family and community changed forever.
Cole Faircloth is an engineering student at Tallahassee Community College and a former mentee of Fletcher’s.
“I’m very grateful for everything he did teach me,” Faircloth said.
Faircloth met Fletcher two years ago, after applying to work at his Bristol-based private surveying firm.
“He started with ground zero and taught me everything I know on the weekends, I’d go up there and he sat there and taught me everything,” he said.
Faircloth’s story is a familiar one. Fletcher was known to be a mentor extraordinaire, a passionate advocate for civil engineering, often opening up doors for the next generation.
“It was devastating, you know,” Faircloth said. “I couldn’t believe the guy day-in and day-out guided me through everything and taught me so much about life and still had so much to teach me. Now, that was gone. That was out of the equation. I felt a piece of my future missing.”
The focus now shifts to that future. The family started a GoFundMe page to start a scholarship fund for students looking to become engineers.
“I think that it could really help people in need who want to pursue this but may not have the funds for it,” Benjamin said.
As of Friday afternoon, over $7,000 had been raised. There’s a $20,0000 goal.
Meanwhile, Faircloth is set to transfer to FSU this fall and will pursue an engineering degree, hoping to make his role model proud.
“I really wish he could have made it to my graduation and all that, and I wish I could have thanked him on those days for pushing me to be the best I could be,” he said.
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