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Roadside memorial held for I-275 crash victims

8:26 AM, 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.

 


 


Tampa, Florida -- At the vigil and makeshift memorial for four USF students killed in a wrong-way crash on I-275 Sunday, there was a chilling chant and prayer from a community trying to cope.

Arif Ahmad said, "I got the call in the morning, friend of mine said his son is dead."

The victims are Dammie Yesudhus, Jobin Kuriakose, Jim Lias, and Ankeet Patel.

A witness captured the crash on her cell phone. Jada Wright shot it while going southbound on I-275, parallel with the person who was going the wrong way down the northbound side.

Wright said, "As soon as I was about to stop [recording], it crashed, and I started screaming and screaming."

10 News muted the video-following our crime guidelines.

In the video, you can see the crash and then the flames. Wright said what she witnessed, those sights and those sounds, were shocking. "I can still hear it. It is like a loud crack, crushing noise."

All four victims were Sigma Beta RHO fraternity members at USF. Among the circle of brothers at the gathering Sunday were family friends of one of the victims.

Mohamad Rahman said, "His [Jim Lias'] mom is crying, crying, fell every second. His dad too."

Another friend, Mohamad Emram, said, "God knows how we will come up through all of this. We lost four lives. They are the future of this country. Big loss for our community."

USF president Judy Genshaft released a statement saying, "Words cannot convey the depth of shock and sadness this terrible event brings to all who knew and cherished these wonderful young men."

The USF counseling center is available for students who are struggling with this loss.

Investigators haven't released the name of the other driver. They are looking into whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash. 

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