Former Green Wave athlete, one of two FSU students killed in Tallahassee crash, remembered

Michael Braun
| Fort Myers News-Press

Sean Shearman was someone who was never seen without a smile and who pitched in when he didn’t have to.

The 22-year-old Fort Myers High School graduate and former Green Wave athlete was one of two men killed Saturday in a two-vehicle crash near Tallahassee.

“I can’t recall a single instance of seeing this kid without a big smile and just so kind. And kind from a very young age,” said Caroline Boland, a Fort Myers parent of several Fort Myers High School graduates who were friends with Shearman. “Sean was one of the first kids I met when we moved here. I don’t think you’ll find one person in Fort Myers who knew him who’s not absolutely heartbroken.”

Shearman was one of two men in a Kia Optima who were killed on the Apalachee Parkway when their car was hit by a Ford F350 reportedly going 70 mph. Also killed in the crash was Victor Pena.

Shearman and Pena were fraternity brothers at FSU as members of Alpha Tau Omega. Shearman was in his final semester and Pena had graduated.

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Hours earlier a woman crossing the street near the FSU campus was killed by a car.  Their deaths were among three FSU students killed in crashes on Saturday.

The Tallahassee Police Department has not released any information about the crash victims besides their genders. University officials, however, confirmed the woman was a student and social media posts indicate at least one of the two men also attended FSU.

The men were traveling on a service road next to Apalachee Parkway about 7:30 p.m. According to police, they attempted to turn left to head east when a Ford F350 hit them.

“Investigators believe the F350 was traveling 70 mph at the time of the crash,” Tallahassee police spokeswoman Alicia Turner said.

Shearman, whose family lives in Fort Myers, was a graduate of Fort Myers High School and played football and baseball there as well as in youth leagues.

A gofundme account was started by this Alpha Tau Omega fraternity brothers to help with funeral expenses.

Boland said her youngest son was in first grade and had requested that the friends of his older sister Cam, which included Sean, come to his birthday party.

“He wanted the big kids to come over,” she said. “They came and they celebrated and they made that little kid feel like a rock star.”

Boland’s son Grant, 21, posted a tribute to Shearman on social media: “Sean took me under his wing when I started playing high school ball and I’ll never forget that. One helluva man. Rest easy.”

Jonathan Brook, who was a little league coach for Sean, said he was devastated by news of the crash.

“I’ve been in tears at times today,” he said.

Brook coached Sean’s team, with help from Sean’s father, Robert, about 10 years ago.

“It was fun to coach him,” he said. “He was that great kid. A leader of the team.”

Sean played shortstop and pitcher and was also a power hitter, Brook said.

“He had that big smile and a big laugh,” he said. “He had a big, magnetic personality. You’d seen him and you’d want to go hang out with him.”

Sean was preparing to go to law school at FSU, Brook said. An older brother Brendan, 25, just graduated law school and he had an older sister, Kelsey, 29.

Sports was a big part of Sean’s life while at Fort Myers High School.

Stephanie Sirianni, sister to Green Wave football coach Sam Sirianni Jr., knew Sean well while he was at Fort Myers High.

“I knew him as a student,” the retired 40-year-experienced teacher said. “He was a just great all-around nice person,” she said. “Polite. A complete team player. All of his teammates embraced him.”

Sirianni said Sean also excelled in the classroom, where she knew him the best.

“He was a great student,” she said. “He did his work.”

But Sean’s ethics and his attention to responsibility also caught her eye.

“Because I was around the team so much, cooking and decorating, I’d see him in (the locker room) cleaning up,” she said. “Everybody had to take a turn. But, if someone didn’t do it, I’d see him in there. He was just that kid. This is very sad for me.”

Sean Shearman’s father Robert, was recently elected board chairman at United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee Counties. Jeanine Joy, president of the organization, said the elder Shearman is a valuable member of the United Way.

“If (Sean) was anything like his dad, it is a tremendous loss to the community.”

Connect with breaking news reporter Michael Braun: MichaelBraunNP (Facebook)@MichaelBraunNP (Twitter) or Karl Etters, a report with the Tallahassee Democrat, contributed to this story.

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