Man convicted of drunk driving crash on I-275 warns others from - WFLA News Channel 8

Man convicted of drunk driving crash on I-275 warns others from making his mistake

Posted: Updated:
John Templeton's booking photo from Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office John Templeton's booking photo from Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
John Templeton's arrest report John Templeton's arrest report

John Templeton said he couldn’t watch the cell phone video taken of the wrong way driver on I-275 from this weekend.

"I really got goose bumps. I couldn't believe something like this happened again. 11-years ago that guy was me," said Templeton.

Templeton, who is now 30, got onto I-275 in November 2002 driving the wrong direction. He had been out earlier in the night drinking with friends but doesn't remember getting in his car, driving on the wrong side of the highway, or the crash.

"I woke up hand cuffed to a hospital gurney at St. Joseph’s Hospital and I realized life had changed. Really in a black out I drove the wrong way on 275 as a 19-year-old and I hit somebody directly head-on who was just an innocent victim in the wrong place at the wrong time," explained Templeton.

Templeton hit and killed 18-year-old Julie Buckner.

"As a young person we often think it will never happen to us, or we will never be involved, or we are never capable of doing something so horrible," added Templeton.

Templeton said his accident in 2002 and the accident over the weekend that left four USF students dead are similar. Templeton was a USF student when his accident happened. And the accidents happened on I-275 just miles away from each other.

Now every day Templeton said he has to live with the decision he made to drink and drive.

"Every day I wake up knowing the choice that I made that night and how it impacted and changed this young girl. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Julie Buckner, what would she be doing right now at this moment with her life."

After Buckner's family forgave Templeton, he was sentenced to two years in prison, two years on house arrest, 11 years probation, and 1,000 hours of community service. He now works at his family's substance abuse center, Footprints Beachside Recovery.

After seeing the accident from over the weekend, Templeton wanted to share his story in hopes that someone will make a better decision than he did.

"I try to do something bigger than myself and I campaign against drinking and driving. I feel like it's my obligation when I see things like this happen to stand up and say 'if you don't think it can happen to you, it can.'"

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • 8 on your side helps stranded Riverview driver get a new car

    8 on your side helps stranded Riverview driver get a new car

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:10:54 GMT
    Last week, 8 on your side told you about the plight of Christopher Soto and his recalled car.Last fall, Soto purchased a 2004 Chevy Malibu from DriveTime, a used car dealership in Brandon.
    Last week, 8 on your side told you about the plight of Christopher Soto and his recalled car.Last fall, Soto purchased a 2004 Chevy Malibu from DriveTime, a used car dealership in Brandon.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Pinellas school district asks Crist to pull TV ad

    Pinellas school district asks Crist to pull TV ad

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:32 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:32:42 GMT
    The Pinellas County school district is asking former Gov. Charlie Crist to pull a television ad filmed at an area high school.
    The Pinellas County school district is asking former Gov. Charlie Crist to pull a television ad filmed at an area high school.
  • Closing US 301 for repairs create headaches

    Closing US 301 for repairs create headaches

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:16 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:16:16 GMT
    It’s been a headache for many who travel U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview after the roadway was shut down. But FDOT expects the roadway to be back open about midnight Thursday.After a nearby construction crew damaged a 24-inch water line in the area, water poured out and created a hole, damaging the asphalt on U.S. 301.“It’s still every penny counts, I would say $30 to $50 possibly,” is how much the road closure cost Bee...
    It’s been a headache for many who travel U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview after the roadway was shut down. But FDOT expects the roadway to be back open about midnight Thursday.After a nearby construction crew damaged a 24-inch water line in the area, water poured out and created a hole, damaging the asphalt on U.S. 301.“It’s still every penny counts, I would say $30 to $50 possibly,” is how much the road closure cost Bee...
  • New "Fire challenge" video spurs warnings

    New "Fire challenge" video spurs warnings

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-08-01 02:43:41 GMT
    Videos of a dangerous stunt are spreading all across social media. You can see examples on sites like Youtube and Facebook. It's called "The Fire Challenge" and involves young people dousing themselves with rubbing alcohol and lighting it up on their bodies. Burn victim and now, Tampa General Hospital volunteer, Joe Versaggi, knows all about the horrors of fire. He's undergone 30 surgeries after a fiery plane crash 8...
    Videos of a dangerous stunt are spreading all across social media. You can see examples on sites like Youtube and Facebook. It's called "The Fire Challenge" and involves young people dousing themselves with rubbing alcohol and lighting it up on their bodies. Burn victim and now, Tampa General Hospital volunteer, Joe Versaggi, knows all about the horrors of fire. He's undergone 30 surgeries after a fiery plane crash 8...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.