USF Student, 20, Dies After Skateboarding Accident

Brian Healy

News Editor  

On Friday, an email was sent out informing the USF community of the passing of John Patrick Barker, a senior hospitality major from Little Rock, Arkansas. In the email, Vice Provost for Student Life Julie Orio said that on Tuesday, March 28, Barker sustained a traumatic brain injury following a skateboarding accident.

The accident occurred at the intersection of 33rd Ave and Clement Street, and involved no vehicles or other people. Two days later, on Thursday, March 30, Barker succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

“John will be remembered especially as a great friend, devoted to his family — kind, loving, and unapologetically himself,” read an obituary for Barker that was published in his hometown paper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “He was a leader who made friends readily, put others at ease, and could always make people laugh,” read the obituary authored by the Barker family.


Orio’s email also invited the USF community to come celebrate the life of Barker at one of his favorite spots in the city, Sutro Baths.

“While living in San Francisco,” the obituary read. “He thrived on the music scene and attended live shows whenever he could. Never doing anything halfheartedly, John had a fearlessness and love of life that shone through every activity he took part in,” it continued.


Barker’s family asked that any memorial or monetary contribution be directed towards The John Barker Helmet Advocacy and Injury Prevention Fund, which they have set up at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. This program looks to promote helmet safety in the hospital’s Injury Prevention Center.

We’d like to extend our deepest condolences to anyone who may have been affected by the passing of John Barker. As a reminder, USF offers a variety of counseling services that are intended to help support students and faculty through tragedies such as this one.

Photo Courtesy: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


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