Woman arrested for DUI after car bursts into flames in Tampa

Photo from Florida Highway Patrol.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa woman is facing charges after a car fire on I-4 Saturday evening.

Katherine Melendez Vega (Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

The Florida Highway Patrol received several calls just before 7 p.m. about a car driving recklessly on I-275 north heading onto I-4 east. Callers told officers the person was driving on a rim due to a flat tire, and was all over the road.

An officer responded to I-4 east, and found a car matching the description fully engulfed in flames on the 21st Street exit.

The officer says the driver, identified as 36-year-old Katherine Melendez Vega, had glassy eyes and slurred speech. The officer also smelled alcohol on her breath.

Photo from Florida Highway Patrol.

A witness at the scene said she helped Melendez Vega out of the car after it caught fire, and told police the suspect tried to leave several times to avoid law enforcement.

Melendez Vega was arrested for DUI after performing poorly on field sobriety tests. Officers say she also refused to provide a breath sample.

According to the FHP report, the suspect had a prior DUI.





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