Just after 2:00am during the early morning hours of Sunday, February 8th, a
fiery car accident caused by wrong-way driver resulted in the traffic deaths of four University
of South Florida (USF) fraternity brothers on Interstate 275 in Tampa.
The collision also claimed the life of the wrong-way driver who crashed
into the students on a crest of roadway.
The tragic I-275 crash closed the highway down for close to five hours.
The fatal accident occurred a few hundred feet north of Busch Boulevard
in the northbound lanes when a White Ford Expedition, traveling south,
collided head-on with a 2010 Hyundai Sonata carrying the four male students,
according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The Expedition almost immediately
burst into flames, the FHP said, and the Hyundai was torn apart and partly
burned. All five vehicle occupants, including two in the Sonata who were
wearing seat belts, died at the scene of the crash, troopers noted.
The driver of the Expedition has been identified as 28 year-old Daniel
Morris. Investigators have been working to determine whether alcohol or
drugs played a role in the crash, troopers said. The driver of the Hyundai
was identified as Jobin Joy Kuriakose, age 21, of Orlando, according to
the Highway Patrol. The passengers were Ankeet Harshad Patel, age 22,
and Dammie Yesudhas, age 21, of Melbourne; and Imtiyaz Ilias, age 20,
of Fort Myers.
There will be a memorial service at the USF Tampa campus on Thursday February
13th at 3:30 pm in honor of the students who lost their lives in the accident.