USF students return to class after crash kills 4 classmates

4:15 PM, Feb 10, 2014   |    comments
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Dammie Yesudhas (top left), Jobin Kuriakose (top right), Imtiyaz "Jim" Ilias (bottom left), and Ankeet Patel were killed in a crash on I-275 on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014.
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Tampa, Florida -- Students return to classes at the University of South Florida, a day after learning four students died when their car was hit by a wrong-way driver on I-275.

The Florida Highway Patrol says the four fraternity brothers were going the correct way on northbound I-275 when someone in an SUV going the wrong way hit them near Busch Boulevard at 2 o'clock Sunday morning.

Related: Cell phone captures USF students' deadly crash (Note: Management at 10 News has reviewed this video, and has decided to air and post it without the sound. WARNING: It may be very difficult to watch.) To read our Crime Guidelines, click here.

All four of the young men were in the same fraternity and that brotherhood is doing what it can to help.

The fraternity just announced it has collected $40,000 in just 15 hours of fundraising to pay for their funerals.

That fraternity is also planning a memorial on Thursday. They expect it to be next to the Marshall Center -- the student union at USF -- but the fraternity's president told 10 News other details, like the time, are still being worked out.

The USF Counseling Center has also opened its doors Monday to the around 80 members of the fraternity and anyone else who wants to get help handling this awful loss.

Young men from the Sigma Beta Rho fraternity and their friends gathered by the scene of the crash Sunday night. They chanted and cried.

More: Roadside memorial held for I-275 crash victims

In an instant, they had lost brothers they called by nicknames: Netflix, Ambition, Rodnac, Facetious.

The victims' real names: Dammie Yesudhas, Jobin Kuriakose, Imtiyaz "Jim" Ilias, and Ankeet Patel.

The driver of the wrong-way SUV also died in the fiery crash. Troopers have not released the name of the SUV's driver yet. They say they are investigating whether that driver was using drugs or alcohol at the time.

We're learning more about one of the victims from his hometown of Ft. Myers.

Jim Ilias was known at Cypress Lake High School as a guy who could have fun, but who was also a true leader.

His high school wrestling coaches say he rose from a shy freshman to become team captain. And he didn't take excuses from anyone, including himself.

Jim's older brother Ghan remembers him as a funny, loving friend.

"He was not only an athlete. He was a good son. A good brother. A good role model," Ghan Ilias said. "He was a funny person, you know? He was hysterical."

Ilias was from Ft. Myers. Kuriakose came from the Orlando area. Troopers say both Yesudhas and Patel were from Melbourne.

If you're wondering why there's no Florida Department of Transportation camera video of the crash, 10 News checked into that.

Here's the statement we got back from the Florida DOT:

"The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) does not record video or images from FDOT cameras for multiple reasons including:

- There are between 170 and 200 FDOT cameras active in the Tampa Bay area.

- These cameras are transmitting 24-7.

- The amount of manpower and storage capacity it would take to record and then be able to sort by day and hour and location is cost prohibitive."

An FDOT spokeswoman also says the agency would be inundated and overwhelmed by calls from attorneys and insurance companies asking for video if it were recorded.

The fraternity has also set up a fund to donate to the families of the four students killed.  This is the link to donate:

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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