TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA.com) - Authorities have released the identity of a wrong-way driver that died in a fatal crash on Interstate 275 in Hillsborough County early Friday morning.
Edward Jose Duran, a 23-year-old Tampa resident, was pronounced dead at the scene just before 3 am.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol report the deceased was traveling north in a southbound lane when his 1997 Honda Accord struck an ambulance head-on just north of Floribraska Ave.
Several minutes prior to the collision, FHP dispatchers received information that Duran was traveling west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 4 before making his way onto I-275.
Investigators believe alcohol and drugs played a role in the crash. The two occupants of the ambulance – driver Tarel Omar Peralta and passenger Kemecia Tasha Grave Smith – suffered minor injuries and were transported to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.
A handful of drivers called 9-1-1 after seeing Duran's Honda traveling in the wrong direction. One man claimed he witnessed the driver conducting a U-turn along I-4 near Exit 3.
“He just abruptly turned around right in front of me and then started heading in the wrong direction,” the caller explained. “He's going to cause a head-on collision with somebody.”
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