Chase Leveille was killed Friday after making illegal U-turn into oncoming traffic

7:14 PM, Feb 21, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A mangled mess on the interstate left a man dead and put a major damper on the early morning commute.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, Chase Leveille was driving along I-275 near Bearss Avenue when he made an illegal U-turn and started heading northbound on I-275 south. That's when he crashed his Honda Civic head-on into an Enterprise commercial truck and died on scene.

The crash closed both directions of I-275 until 6:30 a.m. when all the lanes reopened.

In one of three 911 calls released Friday afternoon, a witness told dispatch he was driving with Leveille heading south when he said the car made a U-turn and almost him as it began to head north. The caller also said the driver was driving fine and didn't appear to be impaired.

LISTEN: 911 calls in I-275 wrong-way crash on Feb. 21

The two men in the truck, Jason Lullen and Joe Smith, both walked away with no injuries. At Lullen's home, his mother said he spent the day at the hospital with minor back pain and when she heard about the accident she said she broke down in tears. She said she knows he's lucky to be alive.

Sgt. Steve Gaskins said that they were proactive in saving their own lives, "The gentleman in the vehicle today were wearing seatbelts and it's a testament to how they can save you," said Gaskins.

This is the second deadly wrong-way crash on the same stretch of interstate in less than two weeks.

"It's very rare that it occurred on the heels of the other tragic accident that we had rare situation and I can only point to it being a coincidence," said Gaskins.

On Feb. 9, Daniel Lee Morris was driving his SUV the wrong way on I-275 North near Busch Boulevard when he hit another car and killed four USF fraternity brothers.

Morris, who is also in his twenties, died on the scene and police are still investigating what led up to that crash.

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