The 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 Rho fraternity.
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.