TAMPA, Fla. - The wrong-way driver who died in a fiery crash that also killed four University of South Florida students was identified Tuesday as Daniel Lee Morris, 28, of Michigan.
Morris was driving an Expedition southbound in the northbound lanes of I-275 when he collided head-on with the Hyundai Sonata carrying the students just north of Busch Blvd. early Sunday. It took several days for the driver to be identified because of the extensive fire damage.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Morris recently moved to Tampa from St. Claire Shores, Michigan and had been residing with a friend, Scott Eric Enfinger, 27, of Tampa. On Feb. 9th, Morris took Enfinger's Ford Expedition which was involved in the crash shortly after, according the FHP report.
The four USF students were identified as Jobin Joy Kuriakose, Ankeet Harshad Patel, Imtiyaz Ilias and Dammie Yesudhas.
Ankeet Patel graduated from St. Lucie West Centennial High School in 2010. His family lives in Port St. Lucie. His father Harshad Patel says authorities called them early Sunday morning with the news.
"I knew something was wrong," says Patel, "He said your son is dead. That's it, that's the end of my day, end of my life. It's like the whole land slid from under me. I feel nothing."
Patel says his son was a junior at USF majoring in business. Patel wants to know why his son was killed by a wrong way driver.
"I'm not here to blame anyone but I'd just like to know the truth," says Patel.
Ankeet Patel's funeral is scheduled for February 18 in Fort Pierce.
It is unknown at this time when the Expedition entered the highway going the wrong way and if drugs or alcohol played a factor in the crash.
The four students were part of the Sigma Beta Rho fraternity at USF. Three were current students, while one was a recent graduate. A memorial for those killed will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the USF student center on Thursday, February 13.