Florida agricultural officer who died in Nassau County crash posthumously promoted

Family, friends, fellow law enforcement officers celebrate life of Officer James McWhorter

Florida agricultural officer who died in Nassau County crash posthumously promoted

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – Florida Agriculture officer James McWhorter was posthumously promoted to the rank of corporal Saturday morning.

Family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers celebrated his life at First Baptist Church of Middleburg.

“He was hard-working, he was devoted to the agency, and he was devoted to providing for his children,” said Col. James Wiggins, who is the Agricultural Law Enforcement Director. “I’ve had the absolute privilege of watching James excel over the last few years.”

Officer McWhorter, 31, died in the line of duty last weekend.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, McWhorter was trying to cross the lanes on I-95 last Saturday night from the median access to get from one inspection station to the other.

His car was hit by a pickup truck, killing him.

A family of four in the truck was taken to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries.

Family, friends, and fellow law enforcement officers celebrated officer James McWhorter's life at First Baptist Church of Middleburg. (WJXT)

During his memorial, he was praised as a loving father, fiance, brother and friend.

“He was always smiling and happy, especially when he talked about his family,” Wiggins said. “He was always there to listen to your personal struggles. Whenever you needed a friend, he was there. He had a shoulder for you to lean on.”

McWhorter leaves behind a fiancée, four children and fellow officers with I-95 Region 3 at the job he loved.

McWhorter worked in that division of the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement for two and half years.

Dr. Chris Bonts, the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Middleburg, gave the eulogy.

“He wanted to make a difference with his life,” Bonts said of McWhorter. “So, he dedicated it to serving his community and caring for his family.”

McWhorter was laid to rest at Jacksonville Memory Gardens Cemetery in Orange Park.

The Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement sent News4JAX these statements saying:

“Officer McWhorter was a standup officer who always went above and beyond in his job, which actually earned him a Letter of Appreciation in May of 2020.

“He was always willing to help his fellow co-workers and always maintained a positive attitude. Officer McWhorter will truly be missed and will never be forgotten.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help McWhorter’s family.

Gov. Ron DeSantis also ordered flags at several local spots to be flown at half-staff Saturday in honor of McWhorter’s service: the Agricultural Inspection Stations 16A and 16B on Interstate 95 in Yulee, Florida, the Clay County Courthouse in Green Cove Springs, and the City Hall of Orange Park.


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