Fatal wrong-way crash on SB I-275 in Tampa - WNEM TV 5

Fatal wrong-way crash on SB I-275 in Tampa

Posted: Updated:
Chase Kaleb Leveille Chase Kaleb Leveille
Image from the scrash scene Image from the scrash scene
The accident blocked all lanes on the interstate for a few hours. The accident blocked all lanes on the interstate for a few hours.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - A wrong-way crash killed a man on southbound Interstate 275 just north of Bearss Avenue in Tampa before 3 a.m. Friday. The crash blocked all lanes on the interstate in both directions for a few hours, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. All lanes are now open.

According to FHP, the driver of an older model Honda going north on the southbound I-275 hit an unloaded Enterprise rental truck head on and both vehicles traveled about 500 feet until stopping on the emergency lane. FHP Trooper Steve Gaskins confirmed the Honda driver died at the scene. The driver's name was Chase Kaleb Leveille, 25, of Riverview.

The truck driver Jason D. Lullen, 47, of Wesley Chapel, and his passenger Joe N. Smith, 65, of Tampa got minor injuries. They didn't go to a hospital.

Rusty Camacho of Hudson was on the I-275 going south Friday morning. He saw Leveille going the wrong direction. He flashed his headlights at the Honda but Leveille just kept going straight.

"I have no idea how fast he was going," Camacho said.

Camacho added he was still shaken by the accident. 

According to FHP, it is not clear where Leveille entered the interstate. Authorities closed the interstate in both directions for a few hours. All lanes are now open.

9-1-1 calls indicate Leveille was heading in the correct direction on I-275 and then made a U-turn for unknown reasons.

"I just had a driver that was going southbound on 275 and turned around and went northbound in the southbound lanes," said one 9-1-1 caller.

Another caller reported the incident but said it didn't appear that Leveille was driving erratically before the accident.

"It wasn't like he was impaired on anything, he was driving perfectly fine," they said.

Brooklyn Rachelle Ward says she is a friend of Leveille's and was with him Thursday night not long before the accident. She says he was happy and they had been having a great time.

Ward says she can't understand how this happened.

"We were having a blast last night. I can't believe this. He always helped everybody. I miss him," she said

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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