On Sunday, Sep. 7, three victims were identified in yet another, wrong-way crash that occurred along the I-275, the fourth head-on-collision to occur within the last seven months.
It was a gruesome scene, all too familiar to local highway patrol troopers. "It is a shame three people have lost their lives. Hopefully we don't have to be out here anytime soon," said Trooper Stephen Dachs.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the mangled Honda was heading the wrong way on I-275, just past Bearss Avenue.
At the wheel, was 33-year-old G.L. Her 31-year-old sister, L.L. was in the passenger seat, and 26-year-old J.P. was also a passenger.
The white Honda driven by G.L. was headed southbound in the northbound travel lanes of I-275. G.L. slammed head-on into a semi-truck carrying gasoline around 6 am on Sunday morning.
G.L. and her two passengers were killed, but the truck driver, a resident of Lakeland was unharmed.
According to Fox 13, this is the fourth wrong way collision since February to occur on the I-275 between Bearss and Busch Boulevard. Since the first accident, there has been a total of ten fatalities.
"I have no indication as to why that is occurring," said Trooper Dachs.
Just three weeks prior, E.D. drove several miles along the I-4, then the I-275 headed in the wrong direction. E.D. ultimately crashed into an ambulance and was killed.
In February, C.L. lost his life after crashing into a box truck while heading the wrong way near Bearss.
The week before that fatal crash, a concerned citizen captured a startling video of D.M. heading the wrong way near Busch Boulevard. D.M.'s adventure ended when he slammed into another vehicle, killing four USF fraternity brothers.
Troopers told Fox 13 that wrong way collisions are rare, but after recent events they want drivers to pay closer attention.
"Look for road signs if you are traveling in the interstate and look for vehicles that are traveling in your direction. You want to pull over and make sure you are not traveling the wrong way," said Trooper Dachs.
The FHP reported that in the three previous wrong way crashes this year, the drivers were either under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Currently, troopers are awaiting on toxicology results for Sunday's most recent crash, but it could take up to four to six weeks to get the results back.
Were you injured in a wrong way crash?
If you were injured in a wrong way crash or head-on collision at the hands of an intoxicated driver, or perhaps even by a distracted driver, we urge you to pick up the phone and contact one of our Tampa personal injury attorneys at Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law. With nearly two decades of combined experience representing accident victims, we are prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.