PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. — Friends say the man killed in an all-terrain vehicle crash at Hog Waller Mud Bog was a devoted father to three children.
They say 31-year-old William Lemire was known for his big smile and laugh that could be recognized all over Bradford County.
“His laugh was one of those that you heard it, you knew it was him before you saw him,” family friend Kayla Soulsby said.
Soulsby says he loved his kids. The youngest is a 1-year-old.
She says he also loved to ride. He was riding his ATV at Hog Waller in Putnam County on Saturday when he was killed.
A witness says he flipped over the handlebars.
“You always think it’s not going to happen to you, it's not going to happen to someone you know,” Soulsby said. “When it does, it’s really hard to understand that. And especially with someone as big as he is, he’s like a staple in our community.”
As news of his death spread, his fellow riders immediately stepped in to help.
Lake Area Riderz ATV Club started a fundraiser on Facebook that quickly surpassed its $10,000 goal.
The money will go toward Lemire's children and funeral expenses.
"It has skyrocketed since this morning, so they're definitely getting the support they need," Soulsby said.
Hog Waller posted a statement on Facebook after the crash, saying they're working with troopers to find out what led to the accident.
In April, a head-on crash at the park sent two people to a hospital, one in critical condition.
Action News Jax asked management if any changes have been made after Saturday's crash. We're waiting for an answer.
Soulsby says the crash is a reminder to always tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.
“He’s really, really going to be missed by everybody. Not just family, his friends, his kids. Everybody,” Soulsby said.
Editor's note: The crash report released by The Florida Highway Patrol listed the victim's name as William Lamire. Friends tell Action News Jax the correct spelling of his last name is Lemire.
Cox Media Group