20-year-old Jacksonville firefighter identified in fatal Putnam County ATV crash, sources say

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla — Late Saturday night, November 18, a pickup truck and an ATV collided off of Putnam County Road 309. Florida Highway Patrol reported that the two passengers of the ATV were pronounced dead at the scene.

Sources close to the situation tell Action News Jax that one of the men was 20-year-old JFRD firefighter, Tanner Gillespie.


The Jacksonville Firefighters Death Benefits Fund first reported his death in an online statement.

JFDBF stated Gillespie began his JFRD career 4 months ago on July 17, 2023, as a member of Recruit Class 2-23.

Upon graduation from recruit school he was assigned to Engine Company 30. Gillespie’s father is also a retired Lieutenant with the department.

“We asked that you keep the Gillespie family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with this most difficult time,” said JFDBF in a Facebook post.

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An ATV was approaching the intersection at Browns Fish Camp at 11 p.m. when a pickup truck, that was traveling the same direction, failed to complete a right turn.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, the pickup slowed down, but the ATV could not slow down in time.

The ATV crashed behind the pickup truck and and the two passengers of the ATV were thrown out of the vehicle and landed on the roadway.

Reports state that the two passengers of the ATV were pronounced dead. The drivers was a 21-year old man and the passenger was 20-year-old Gillespie.

The pickup truck has seven passengers all in their early 20s none of them were reported injured.

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This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

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