BOCA RATON, Fla. — The Florida Atlantic University community is mourning the loss of a beloved teacher killed last month in a deadly wreck in Broward County.
Justin Waldron, an instructor in the Department of English, was killed in a double fatal crash in Lighthouse Point on Jan. 23.
A native of Fort Lauderdale, his family said their 38-year-old son died when the car he was driving was struck from behind as he sat stopped at a traffic light.
Officials said both vehicles caught fire, killing both drivers.
"It was the anniversary of his father’s death, and he went to see his sister and spend the evening with his sister, and he was on his way home," Waldron's mother Maryann Stokes said.
She said they are a close family and losing her son has been difficult.
"We have learned a lot of things that have made us really proud of Justin, but at the same time it has increased the loss," said Waldron's stepfather Stephen Stokes.
His mother said he was always learning something new and was a proud rescue dog owner who loved the outdoors.
"Justin was easygoing, well-liked, and a caring friend to many," Maryann Stokes said. "His group of friends extended across all of South Florida."
FAU said Waldron received a bachelor's degree in political science from FAU in 2008 and an MFA in creative writing in 2012.
He served as an instructor since 2013 and was in the process of being promoted to senior instructor, according to the school.
FAU posted on their website that the school's flags on campus will fly at half-staff on Feb. 5 in Waldron's memory.
"Justin left a lasting impact on his colleagues, who will remember him as a 'departmental workhorse' and someone they could always count on to help in times of need," the school posted on their website.
The cause of the wreck is still under investigation.
"We are just going to miss him forever," Maryann Stokes said.
Waldron's family asks that donations be made to The Friends of Jonathan Dickinson State Park or a local pet rescue organization.