A former Florida state representative committed suicide earlier this week by throwing himself off a Tampa, Fla., highway overpass.
Former state Rep. Robert Wallace, who apparently suffered from depression for years, jumped about 50 feet onto Gun Highway around 7 p.m. Monday night, according to a report from the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner office.
There was one witness who apparently saw the suicide and first responders showed up on the scene to find Wallace’s body next to railroad tracks.
“This just proves how much we don’t know about how to fight mental illness,” Former state Sen. John Grant told The Tampa Bay Times. “It’s not like other medical problems where you can get an MRI and find out what is wrong.”
Wallace served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1994-2002, entering the House on a Republican wave. During his time in the House, he voted against higher taxes, among other things.
“He never wanted power; he just wanted to make a difference in people’s lives,” Gilbert Singer, an attorney in Tampa, said.
Wallace left behind his wife, four children and three grandchildren.
“He worked hard to give all he could back to others, which led him to start his environmental business, run for state office and volunteer for many organizations. He will be deeply missed,” his daughter said in a statement from the family.
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