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Greg Evers, who represented Northwest Florida for fifteen years in the Florida House and Florida Senate, has died at the age of 62 following a single-car crash near his home in Baker in northern Okaloosa County.

Evers’ vehicle crashed into Penny Creek near Griffith Mill Road and Reeves Road in Baker after Evers failed to negotiate a curve, according to Florida Highway Patrol officials. Investigators suspect the crash happened late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, though FHP was not called to the scene until just after noon on Tuesday. The crash remains under investigation.

A farmer, Evers was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2001, and served there until 2010, when he was elected to the Florida Senate. Last year, Evers unsuccessfully ran for Congress, losing to eventual winner Matt Gaetz in a crowded Republican primary. After leaving politics, Evers joined Pensacola-based consultancy South Palafox Group as is Chief of Political Affairs.

More recently, Evers was in the news as the head of a group which offered to lease the Bayview Park Cross from the City of Pensacola following a federal court ruling ordering the city to remove it. City officials are appealing that decision, and no action was taken on Evers’ proposal.

Local officials expressed their condolences on Tuesday.

“I’m crushed by the news that former State Senator Greg Evers was killed in a car accident late last evening,” Congressman Matt Gaetz said in a statement. “Greg has been my friend for 16 years. Northwest Florida has lost a great champion and true public servant.”

“Greg passionately represented his district for many years in both the House and Senate,” said Florida Senate President Joe Negron. “He was especially dedicated to the men and women of his community who were serving or had served in the military, as well as our fellow Floridians across the state who serve as corrections officers.”

“Our sincere condolences go out to his family in the loss of Senator Greg Evers,” said Okaloosa County Commission Chairman Carolyn Ketchel. “He will be remembered for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the agricultural community during his years of public service as a member of both the Florida House and Senate. His friendly smile and laugh will be missed by all those who knew him.”

“Senator Greg Evers was a dedicated public servant and an even better friend,” said State Sen. George Gainer. “He will be greatly missed. Go rest high on that mountain.”

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