Many saw I-275 wrong-way driver before crash - WFLA News Channel 8

Many saw I-275 wrong-way driver before crash

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Troopers say Chase Leveille, 25, was going the wrong way and smashed head-on into a box truck. Troopers say Chase Leveille, 25, was going the wrong way and smashed head-on into a box truck.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The aftermath of the violent crash on I-275 just north of Bearss Avenue was a twisted heap of metal, glass and rubber.

Troopers say Chase Leveille, 25, made an illegal u-turn, going the wrong way, and smashed head-on into a box truck. The impact splattered engine oil everywhere.

Brian Evans, on his way to work at UPS, driving in the far right lane, noticed others pulling off the road.

"There's a car to my left. And he slams on his brakes, there's no one in front of him. So I thought maybe there was something in the road," said Evans.

That something was Leveille's Honda Civic barreling north in the fast lane.

"Looks over to the left and there's 2 headlights that are on the wrong side, that is in the fast lane. And so all of us just split," Evans said.

Several other drivers called 911. The Florida Highway Patrol rushed units to the area.

Officials say Leveille died instantly. The driver of the truck, Jason Lullen, suffered minor injuries. His passenger, Joe Smith, considers himself blessed.

"I was asleep. When I woke up the accident happened. When I woke up, all I see was a flash. By the time I see the flash the accident happened," said Smith.

Brian Evans knows he could have been hit and killed.

"You catch a different red light, you want another drink of water," Evans said. "In the blink of an eye, you're wide awake and worried about every single hump that you go over, is somebody gonna start coming your way?"

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