Tampa Tribune published an article about four University of South Florida fraternity
brothers who lost their lives after a driver collided head-on into their
vehicle in a fiery crash on Interstate 275 near Busch Boulevard in the
early hours on Sunday morning.
The wrong-way collision occurred just after 2 a.m. when a Ford Expedition
was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of the I-275, said Steve
Gaskins, the spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol.
The accident was captured on video by a concerned citizen who taped the
horrific scene as it slowly unfolded. The Ford crashed head-on into the
2010 Hyundai Sonata which was carrying the four men who were traveling
north in the center lane north of Busch Boulevard, said Gaskins.
According to Gaskins, upon impact the Ford burst into flames and was completely
engulfed. The driver of the Ford was killed and the authorities were still
trying to determine his identity due to the extensive damage caused by
the fire, Gaskins said.
The front end of the Hyundai also suffered fire damage and all four male
occupants of the vehicle died at the scene, Gaskins said.
The male occupants of the Hyundai included driver Jobin Joy Kuriakose,
21, of Orlando, Ankeet Harshad Patel, 22, of Melbourne, Imtiyaz Ilias,
20, of Fort Myers, and Dammie Yesudhas, 21, of Melbourne.
All four occupants of the Hyundai were members of USF's Sigma Beta
Ilias was studying nursing at the University of South Florida according
to a family friend by the name of Mohammad Rahman.
"He was like our third son, "Rahman said. "I have two sons
about the same age as him. We were very close. He spent a lot of nights
with my kids at home."
When reached by cellphone, Raj Patel, president of the USF chapter of Sigma
Beta Rho read a statement.
"As a brotherhood, we are devastated at the loss of our brothers,"
said Patel. "Our condolences and prayers go out to the family members
of both the brothers lost as well as the driver (of the truck). This tragic
accident took the lives of four very young, talented men who should have
had a lifetime to live."
As of Sunday, troopers were still investigating the collision.
Tampa Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys
While it is presently unclear as to whether or not alcohol played a role
in this crash, it is frightening to consider just how quickly one's
life can be turned upside-down or ended in an instant by another driver.
At Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law, we represent clients in all types of
auto accident cases, and we represent surviving family members in
wrongful death claims.
If you or someone you love sustained undue harm and injuries at the hands
of another driver, we urge you to contact a Tampa personal injury attorney
from our firm to discuss filing a claim for maximum compensation.