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South Florida freshman killed


© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 23, 2001

South Florida defensive back Patrick Payton, a redshirt freshman from Miami Northwestern, died Friday from injuries sustained when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a car Thursday night in Miami. He was 19.

Payton, a member of the 1998 Class 6A state championship team, signed with USF last fall and practiced with the Bulls in the fall and spring of 2000-01 but did not play in any games.

Bulls coach Jim Leavitt flew to Miami to visit Payton's home and saw him in the hospital before life support was removed.

"This breaks my heart," Leavitt said in a statement. "He was a very special person. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Our entire team will be thinking of his family through this tragedy."

Details of the accident were not immediately available.

Payton is survived by his parents, Patrick Payton and Deborah McCoy of Miami.

USF said anyone wishing to send cards to the family should mail them to the USF Athletic Department, c/o John Gerdes, 4202 E Fowler Ave., PED 214, Tampa, FL 33620.

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