4 USF students killed in wrong-way car accident in Tampa

February 13, 2014

Imagine that you are driving down the highway late at night. You are driving carefully and safely. Suddenly, a pair of headlights appears in front of you. There is something strange about them. And then you realize what it is: the headlights are not on the other side of the road. The vehicle is coming right at you, as both you and the other driver are going 55 miles per hour or more.A scenario very similar to this one has claimed the lives of four University of South Florida students. They were killed in a wrong-way car accident on Interstate 275 in Tampa on Feb. 9. The driver of the other vehicle also died in the collision. The Florida Highway Patrol says that an SUV travelling south on I-275’s northbound side crashed into a car around 2 a.m. The car had four men inside, all of whom were USF students and members of the school’s chapter of the Sigma Beta Rho. The SUV burst into flames, and the smaller vehicle was destroyed.As the Tampa Bay Times points out, the fraternity, which is dedicated to cultural awareness, had 20 members prior to the accident. The president of the fraternity said the remaining brothers were “devastated” by the tragedy.The driver of the SUV also was killed. It is not yet known if he was impaired by alcohol or drugs. Wrong-way accidents are frequently caused by a drunk driver who became confused and ended up on the wrong side of the highway. Source: Tampa Bay Times, “5 die in wrong-way crash on I-275 in Tampa,” William R. Levesque and Caitlin Johnston, Feb. 8, 2014

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