MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — In a post on social media Tuesday, the Florida Strawberry Festival shared a beloved employee of the festival had tragically passed away.
Randy Scott was known as the voice of the festival.
“Mr. Randy’s dedication to our 11-day event was immeasurable. From singing the National Anthem each morning to serenading us with Happy Trails each night, Mr. Randy’s song will forever be missed. He was a beloved employee of the Festival, where his time and talents were always put to great use,” the post said.
Scott, his wife Jill and Jill’s sister were victims of a tragic car crash in Manatee County Monday afternoon.
“If you came to the Strawberry Festival and didn’t know randy and Jill Scott, they probably would prefer it that way. They never sought the spotlight, they just loved the strawberry festival, they loved the community, loved the people that come and always gave back,” said Kyle Robinson, the festival’s president.
“This is bigger than one, two or three people. It was an entire family, an entire community and we’re going to feel this loss for a long long time,” he added.
Scott sang the National Anthem each morning of the 11 day festival, and sang “Happy Trails” as the festival closed each night. His wife, Jill, and her sister, Judy Cook, each volunteered countless hours to support the festival, organizers say.
“The loss of these three is going to leave a big hole here at the strawberry festival family but more than that, it’s our community it’s plant city, and east Hillsborough County.”
Troopers investigating the deadly crash say a dump truck driver heading around a curve on County Road 675 entered the shoulder and overcorrected, sending the large vehicle into a head-on collision with an SUV driven by 71-year-old Scott. He and both passengers died at the scene.
All three victims were from Plant City.
“The Scotts were true servants whose reach extended far behind the Festival grounds. Their presence will be greatly missed within our community,” the festival said in its post on social media.
“We’re going to have a great void with these that we’ve lost. But others will be there to pick it up, I know their family members will be there to pick it up. I spoke with the family today and certainly they’re saddened by this great loss. I know this family and they’ll regroup and they’ll come out here and continue to serve our community,” Robinson added.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister commented on the Scotts’ death in a statement Wednesday.
I am sorry to hear about the passing of Randy Scott and his beloved wife, Jill, and her sister. The Scotts were very well known to our deputies as they could always hear his singing of the National Anthem every morning at the Strawberry Festival. Or could count on a smile and genuine greeting throughout the day. This is a major loss for the Plant City community and the close-knit group of volunteers at the Strawberry Festival our heartsChad Chronister