3 students from central Fla. among 5 killed in wrong-way crash

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida Highway Patrol officials say five people died following a wrong-way crash on a southwest Florida highway.

Three of those killed were from central Florida, identified as Jobin Joy Kuriakose, 21, of Orlando; Ankeet Harshad Patel, 22, of Melbourne; and Dammie Yesudhas, 21, also of Melbourne.

The students were in a Hyundai Sonata with Imtiyaz Ilias, 20, of Fort Myers, who was also killed when an SUV driver going the wrong way on Interstate 275 collided with their vehicle.

The four men were college students from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Yesudhas was a 2009 graduate of Rockledge High School. His online postings indicate that he was a double major in math and mechanical engineering, and served as a tutor to other students.

A witness captured cellphone video of the Ford Expedition heading south in the northbound lanes around 2 a.m.

Moments later, the SUV crashed into the car near the Busch Boulevard exit. Authorities say the SUV burst into flames and the unidentified driver died at the scene.

Family friends of the students said they were coming from a party when the crash happened.

The students were all members of the same fraternity. The fraternity is raising money on gofundme.com for the victim's families.

Over the weekend, friends held a vigil for the victims.

"We wanted to do something more personal," said fraternity brother Nabil Tahan. "This is the last place they took their last breaths, so for us, this is a very significant spot in our hearts."

The highway was closed for several hours and reopened around 7 a.m.

The accident remains under investigation.

Grief counselors will be at the University of South Florida in Tampa on Monday to speak with students.


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