Just Tragic: Junior Killed in Motorcycle Accident

A University of Tampa junior died Tuesday night in a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident.

Nicholas Kopplin, a junior finance major from Overland, Mo., reportedly lost control of his Kawasaki motorcycle near the 31st Street exit on I-275.

The Florida Highway Patrol reported that Kopplin was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his bike and slammed into a guardrail. He was thrown from the bike.

Local media reported that he was not wearing a helmet. However, Mrs. Barbara Milestone, Nick’s Guardian said Nick was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Kopplin was reported dead at the scene.

Just three weeks ago, UT sophomore Samantha MacQuilliam, was murdered in her Palm Harbor home. As with MacQuilliam’s, Kopplin’s Facebook profile soon filled up with comments that spoke directly to him, some expressing how much he would be missed.

His distraught girlfriend, Lindsay Marino, said she would be lost without him.

“I love you, my baby–I love you with all of my heart, baby–I love you so much–please baby—why?—I love you so much–You are my everything. please—I’ll pray everyday–I love you, baby,” she wrote.

“I really can’t believe that you are gone, Nick. We were supposed to have such a great senior year… you’re gone too soon. But I guess it was just time… Hope you’re in a better place.. R.I.P., Nick Kopplin…..koppp diggidy,” Germaine Souza wrote.

“Nick … I am going to miss you so much. You are such an amazing person and I can’t believe you are gone 🙁 You always looked out for me at school and made sure I was doing ok – No one can ever replace you… I know you will be watching over us all from heaven – I love you Nicky!” wrote Kayla Adams.

The news of Kopplin’s death also struck many members of UT’s administration.

A global message from President Ronald Vaughn this morning expressed his sadness to the University community concerning the tragic news.

Bob Ruday, Dean of Students, was also devastated at the loss of another student this summer.

“This was just tragic,” Ruday said.

Students that knew Kopplin can e-mail minaret@ut.edu if they wish to share stories about the young man’s life to be used in a follow-up story.

If anyone would like to send an expression of sympathy, please send to the following address:

Mrs. Barbara Millstone (Nicholas’ guardian) 2945 Poe Avenue Overland, MO 63114

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