Hillsborough County

Who is Amber Perera, woman accused of causing fatal crash on Selmon Expressway?

TAMPA (WFLA) -- The news of her arrest has shocked those who know 29-year-old Amber Perera, including her partner.

"What's going through your mind right now?” WFLA reporter Ryan Hughes asked.

"I'm devastated. I am. I am,” said Jessica Peterson.

Peterson can’t believe Perera is in jail accused of causing the crash on the Selmon Expressway that killed three people and hurt two others. Perera left the scene, taking off at a high rate of speed, police said.  Law enforcement caught up with her shortly after the crash when her car broke down.

Tampa police detectives tell News Channel 8 that Perera was on the prescription drugs Lexapro and Ativan.

Ativan is used to treat seizures.

Perera’s grandmother thinks a seizure led to the crash.

“She’s not a monster,” her grandmother said.

Her partner said there’s more to the story.

“You know, it will come out.  But I really don't want to say anything other than that,” Peterson said.

News Channel 8 spoke to attorney Mark Stopa who confirmed that Perera worked in his office until recently.  She was an administrative assistant, he said, but was recently let go.

We checked jail and court records and learned Perera was arrested in 2010 for Grand Theft.  That was the only crime on record.

Perera has been charged with 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 injury and tampering with physical evidence. She's due in court for a bond hearing Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

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