Portion of I-75 in Alachua County named for FHP trooper who died in crash involving Villager

William T. Bishop

A section of Interstate 75 in Alachua County has been renamed in honor of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who was killed in a June 2017 crash that involved a 67-year-old Villager.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill last month that designates the portion of I-75 between Mile Markers 399-404 as the “Sergeant William T. Bishop Memorial Highway.”

Bishop was killed while working a traffic crash on June 17, 2017 at 6:36 p.m. at Mile Marker 403 of the interstate. He was outside his patrol vehicle when a second crash occurred between a 2007 Cadillac driven by 67-year-old John Charles Sams, of the Village of Silver Lake, and a 2016 Ford Fusion driven by Michael T. Korta, 46, of Tampa, according to an accident report from the FHP. Bishop was struck and killed in the collision between those two vehicles.

The 30-year veteran trooper was transported to UF Health Shands Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was 52 and resided in Lake City. Sams suffered minor injuries and was also treated at Shands. Korta escaped injury.

“This is a tragedy that highlights the risks that FHP troopers encounter every day as they serve our state,” the FHP said in a statement.

Then-Gov. Rick Scott also offered his condolences.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of 30-year veteran FHP Trooper Sergeant William Trampas Bishop while on duty in Alachua County. Ann and I are praying for Sergeant Bishop’s family and loved ones during this very difficult time,” he said.

Funeral services for Bishop were held six days after the fatal crash at Christ Central Ministries in Lake City. Scott and then-Attorney General Pam Bondi attended the service, where Bishop was honored as a husband, father, brother, public servant and community member. Interment followed at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery, also in Lake City.

This past week, the Marion County Commission gave its blessings to a plan to rename a portion of I-75 in honor of fallen FHP trooper Chelsea Richard, who was killed in a 2014 crash that also claimed the life of Villages sales agent George R. Phillips and tow truck operator John Duggan.