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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Traffic

Another fatal wrong-way crash on I-275


Published:   |   Updated: February 21, 2014 at 12:44 PM

For the second time this month, a car heading the wrong way on Interstate 275 in Hillsborough County was involved in a fatal crash.

Early this morning, a wrong-way driver from Riverview was killed when he struck a box truck just north of Bearss Avenue, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Two people in the truck received minor injuries.

At 2:35 a.m., Chase Kaleb Leveille, 25, was driving a 1993 Honda Civic north in the southbound center lane of I-275, when he crashed head-on into an unloaded rental truck going south, troopers said.

Leveille died at the scene, the patrol said.

Investigators say Leveille was initially traveling southbound on I-275 near Busch Boulevard, but for unknown reasons made a U-turn, heading north when he struck the truck.

The driver of the truck, 47-year-old Jason D. Lullen, of Wesley Chapel, and passenger Joe N. Smith, 65, of Tampa, reported minor injuries, the patrol said.

The scene was reminiscent of Feb. 9, when a driver going the wrong way on the highway crashed into four University of South Florida students just north of Busch Boulevard, killing all five.

This morning’s crash closed I-275 lanes in both directions for several hours. Northbound lanes reopened about 5:30 a.m. and southbound lanes about 6:30 a.m., the Florida Highway Patrol said.

An investigation was ongoing to determine whether drugs or alcohol were involved, the patrol said.

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