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Two Wrong-Way Crashes Kill 11 in Florida, California

Feb 10, 2014

A Ford Expedition was heading south in the northbound lanes of I-275 in Tampa at around two in the morning until it crashed into the car carrying four USF fraternity Sigma Beta Rho students.

The crash left all five dead. Officials know who the Expedition belongs to but haven't confirmed if the owner was the driver. It could take more than a month before officials know if alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash.

USF students Dammie Yesudhas (clockwise from top left), Jobin Kuriakose, Ankeet Patel and Imtiyaz "Jim" Ilias were killed in a crash on I-275 early Sunday.
Credit USF Sigma Beta Rho

That same morning, thousands of miles away, another wrong-way collision happened in Los Angeles killing six people.

Wrong-way collisions aren't that common, said Lucas Cruse, researcher with the Center for Urban Transportation Research-- CUTR. He said there is no specific protocol for what to do when you encounter a person driving the wrong way.

"In general if you're riding in the right lane and someone who wasn't aware of themselves going on the wrong side of the freeway, they would presumably be going in the [left] lane so if you stay out of the passing lane it could help prevent an actual crash," Cruse said.

A vigil for the students will be on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the USF Marshall Student Center. A fundraiser to help cover the cost of the students' funerals has already surpassed $50,000, more than the goal.