TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Police have identified the victims of Thursday’s fiery crash on the Selmon Expressway.
The driver was Luiz Felipak, 41, and his passengers were Rita Felipak, 29 and their 8-year-old daughter Giorgia.
The three family members perished after their Hyundai bursts into flames near the Bay to Bay and Euclid exit after they were hit by 29-year-old Amber Perera, who is accused of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of the crash.
Police say Perera was flying at a “high rate of speed,” eastbound on the expressway when she lost control of her vehicle and slammed into the Felipak’s vehicle, touching off “a chain reaction of crashes.”
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The family’s car spun out of control through a grass median and into the westbound lanes where they were hit by a Jeep and an Infinity SUV before their Hyundai caught on fire.
A Good Samaritan was able to pull Luiz Felipak out of the vehicle, but his rescue efforts were unsuccessful, and the driver died at the scene. He said the car was filled with so much smoke, he did not notice Rita and Giorgia in the backseat.
Police found Perera at a nearby exit after her car broke down. She was arrested on three counts of DUI manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of a crash with death, leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injuries, tampering with evidence and three counts of vehicular homicide. She’s being held at the Hillsborough County Jail without bond.
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