Three Die in Fiery Chain Reaction Crash on Selmon Expressway
One driver has been arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter.
TAMPA – Three people are dead and another is injured after a multi-car crash Thursday (Aug. 10) on the Selmon Expressway, according to the Tampa Police Department.
Police said today (Aug. 12) that they have positively identified the driver who died in the crash and “presumptively identified” the two passengers based on “all available evidence.” They are Luiz Felipak, 41, and his wife, Rita Felipak, 29, and daughter, Giorgia Felipak, 8. All were from Tampa.
Tracy Lee Kelly, 43, of Seminole, one of the other drivers involved in the crash, suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries as a result of the crash and was taken to an area hospital. The third driver, Jerry Camilo Lamberti, 20, of Brandon, reported no injuries.
Amber Nicole Perera, 29, of Brandon, was charged with three counts of DUI manslaughter and one count each of DUI with serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of a crash with death, leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury, and destruction of evidence. Police said the destruction of evidence charge stems from Perera’s attempt to conceal the vials of blood that were drawn as evidence related to the DUI investigation.
The crash occurred about 4:12 p.m. on the Selmon Expressway about a half mile east of the W Euclid Avenue entrance ramp. Police said a 2014 Kia driven by Perera, which witnesses told officers was traveling at “high rate of speed,” tried to pass at least two vehicles going in the same direction, The Kia struck the rear of the Hyundai that Mr. Felipak was driving.
The Hyundai began to spin into the grass median and entered the westbound lanes into oncoming traffic where it was struck by a Jeep driven by Kelly and an Infiniti SUV driven by Lamberti. The Hyundai came to rest in an embankment along the westbound lanes, fully engulfed in flames. Perera, the driver of the Kia that caused the crash, fled the scene without stopping, police said. She was later found by responding officers.
A Seffner man who arrived shortly after the crash ran to the Hyundai and joined others in extricating Mr. Felipak from the vehicle. Mr. Felipak, his wife and daughter died at the scene.
The crash resulted in the closing of the Selmon Expressway from Euclid to Bay to Bay until about 2:30 a.m. as the site encompassed both the eastbound and westbound lanes.
For information about the Tampa police, go to tampagov.net.
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