4 USF students killed in head-on collision on I-275
SUV that stuck car burst into flames; driver not yet identified
Five people died early Sunday morning in a crash on Interstate 275 in Tampa when a Ford Expedition, traveling south in the northbound lanes, collided head-on with a Hyundai, said Sgt. Steve Gaskins with the Florida Highway Patrol.
Gaskins said the Expedition caught fire, and its driver was killed. The other four other people killed, all students of the University of South Florida, were occupants in the Hyundai, he said.
The FHP identified the four students who died as Jobin Joy Kuriakose, Ankeet Harshad Patel, Imtiyaz Ilias and Dammie Yesudhas -- all 20 or 21 years old.
The driver of the Expedition -- who was going the south in north northbound lanes about 2:15 a.m. -- also died on the crash. Due to extensive fire damage, the identity of the driver was not released on Sunday.
It is unknown at this time when the Expedition entered the highway going the wrong way and if drugs or alcohol played a factor in the crash.
The scale of the loss sent shock waves through the USF campus.
"It's just a real tragedy whenever you loose guys on campus. It makes you think about your own mortality." USF student Jacob Pedrero told WFTS. "Makes you think about that could be me. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and the brothers of that fraternity as well."
The four students killed were part of the Sigma Beta Rho fraternity. The fraternity is in the early stages of planning a memorial, likely to take place Thursday on the USF campus.
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