On March 21st, a medical examiner’s report was released on the at-fault
driver in Tampa’s second
fatal wrong-way crash that took place in late February. The examiner’s findings indicate
the young man was drunk when he collided with an Enterprise rental truck.
According to a recent update released by the Tampa Bay Times, the news
report says Chase Kaleb Leveille’s blood-alcohol level was confirmed
to be 0.21 at the time of the February 21st crash that took place in the
wrong direction on Interstate 275.
Leveille was driving a 1993 red Honda Civic north in the center lane of
southbound I-275 near Bearss Avenue around 2:35 a.m. Troopers said Leveille
travelled north in the southbound lanes of the interstate for nearly three
miles before colliding head on with an Enterprise rental truck heading
south in the center lane at the same time.
The medical examiner’s report stated Leveille’s blood alcohol
level was almost three times the legal limit. Leveille, a 25-year-old
man from Riverview, was the only person killed in the traffic accident.
Two men riding in the rental truck were treated for minor injuries. That
accident came just two weeks later after five people, including four University
of South Florida fraternity brothers, were killed on I-275 in a separate,
unrelated wrong-way crash. The two fatal auto accident sites are located
about three miles apart from one another.
Daniel Lee Morris, 28, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 with traces of
marijuana present when he drove a friend’s Ford Expedition south
in the northbound lanes of I-275 early on February 9th, according to earlier
reports. Several organizations partnered their efforts to honor the four
USF students killed by the alcohol-impaired, wrong-way driver last month
in a deadly car crash on I-275 in Tampa. The goal was to help raise awareness
about the dangers of impaired driving.
AAA and other local organizations joined with MADD on Friday, March 21st
to sponsor nearly 400 students in an awareness walk event that took place
around the USF Tampa campus. All proceeds raised by the walk were to benefit
MADD’s victim outreach services.
Drunk Driving Statistics
- In the state of Florida, the majority of DUI-related fatalities occur on
Friday or Saturday, with most accidents taking place between 3:00AM and 5:00AM.
- In 2011, the Florida DMV recorded a total of 55,722 DUI arrests, of which
2,045 occurred in the Tampa Bay area.
- In 2012, Tampa DUI arrests decreased by more than 100 cases down to 1,912.
In 2012, Tampa had its lowest number of DUI arrests in 10 years.
- In 2012, there were 697 traffic fatalities caused by drunk driving in the
state of Florida
- In 2012, approximately 10,300 people died in the US due to accidents caused
by drunk/impaired drivers.
Bay News 9