Joyce & Reyes Law Firm

Joyce and Reyes Personal Injury Attorney Remarks on I-275 Crash Caused by Wrong-Way Driver


Tampa, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/31/2014 -- Five men, including four University of South Florida students, died in an auto accident caused by a wrong-way driver on I-275 in Tampa, Florida.

Daniel Lee Morris, 28, of Tampa was hurtling the wrong way in the northbound lanes just north of Busch Boulevard at about 2 a.m. on February 9, 2014. He was driving a friend's Ford Expedition SUV and collided head-on with a Hyundai Sonata carrying four students. All five men died at the scene.

β€œThis is one of Hillsborough County's deadliest accidents in recent years,” said Tampa personal injury attorney Robert Joyce. β€œIt is impossible to imagine what was going through the driver's head in the minutes leading up to the crash.”

The four USF students were all members of Sigma Beta Rho, a multicultural off-campus fraternity. The driver was Jobin Joy Kuriakose, 21, of Orlando. The passengers were Dammie Yesudhas, 21; Ankeet Harshad Patel, 22, of Melbourne; and Imtiyaz Ilias, 20, of Fort Myers.

Jada Wright, another driver, captured a video of the moments leading up to the crash on her cellphone and posted it to Facebook. The video, shot from the southbound lanes, shows the SUV traveling south in the northbound lanes. The crash is not clearly shown in the video, but the burning wreckage is shown seconds later.

The crash occurred just after Morris crested a hill, so the Hyundai's driver would have had little time to swerve out of the way. Just after the crash, Wright's video shows her speedometer, which indicates a speed of 70 mph. Before the collision, which occurred in a 55 mph zone, the SUV appears to be pulling away from Wright.

State police will try to determine whether Morris was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but toxicology reports will take six to eight weeks, said Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

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