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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Man fondly remembered after fatal crash into church near The Villages

Dallas Clark

The Leesburg man who was killed Monday night when his truck slammed into a church on Cherry Lake Road is being fondly remembered by friends and family members who have been in shock since learning of the fatal crash.

Dallas Clark, 21, was a 2018 graduate of Leesburg High School. He starred on the Yellow Jacket football team and later became a Florida Department of Corrections officer. Those who knew him quickly started posting condolence messages to his Facebook page shortly after the violent crash, which left a gaping hole in the True Temple Church of the Living God, located just outside The Villages.

Kevon Miller posted a photo of Clark with angel wings that drew praise from his aunt, Vicki Knapp. Raymond Knowles and several other people posted photos of a Florida Department of Corrections badge with a black strip across it that represents the loss of an officer.

“There are a so many good things that I could say, so many memories but anyone that knows you already knows,” Knowles wrote. “You are loved, you will be missed. May your memory and energy live on.”

Former Leesburg High School football player Dallas Clark was killed Monday night when his pickup truck overturned multiple times and slammed into the Elder Mary Newsom Hudson Church on Cherry Lake Road.

Austin Tyler added a similar message.

“Still in shock you’re gone, but I know you’re in a place far better watching over all us,” he wrote. “You were the kind of person that impacted lives no matter where you went and would give the shirt off your back to a complete stranger. You were a fantastic fellow officer to have and an even better friend. Nobody will be able to fill your shoes. Rest easy brother.”

Dallas Clark, center, poses with some of his fellow Leesburg High School football players.

Clark’s uncle, Brinson Kinzer, wrote that he was heartbroken and shared some of his fondest memories of his nephew.

Dallas Clark was a 2018 graduate of Leesburg High School and had been a Florida Department of Corrections officer.

“I will never forget that little boy helping me wire the garage, or swimming in your pool playing shark attack,” he wrote. “We played Madden and you would beat me. However, when you would start to lose, you had (to) trade controllers because your “X” button supposedly quit working.’

Friend Christine Chapman wrote that she also was heartbroken but was thankful she got the chance to see Clark recently.

“I got my big bear hug from you and was able to tell you I loved you!” she said.
Friend Kenzie Alcidor wrote about the difference Clark made in his life during their high school years together.

“You broke me out of my shell, got me into football and cared for everyone around you,” he wrote. “We won’t forget you man.”

Dallas Clark, 68, prepares for a play while holding down the center position for the Leesburg High School football team.

Malia Bunce agreed.

“You are one of the absolutely sweetest people I know,” she wrote. “I know heaven is excited to have gained someone as special as yourself.”

Clark, who originally is from Davenport, Iowa, started at Leesburg High School in 2015 and eventually played for the Yellow Jackets football team. He wore number 68 and was listed as a 6-foot-2-inch, 305-pound center and nose guard.

According to the website MaxPreps, Clark played in 11 games during his junior and senior years. He recorded six solo tackles and assisted with 28 others. He averaged 3.1 tackles per game and recorded one sack. See some of Clark’s football highlights by clicking HERE.

Former Leesburg High School quarterback Wyatt Rector (16), center, posted this photo on his Facebook page on Tuesday after learning of teammate Dallas Clark’s death. Clark (68) played center and nose guard for the Yellow Jackets.

Clark also played alongside star quarterback Wyatt Rector, who originally committed to play for the University of Virginia but then chose to attend Florida State, where he is listed on the roster as a tight end. On Tuesday, Rector updated his Facebook cover page to show him standing beside Clark and some of his fellow Leesburg football players in a much happier time. A friend wrote how sorry she was for the loss of Rector’s friend and former teammate and offered prayers for Clark’s family.

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