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Ride-share driver, passenger identified after deadly DUI crash near TPA

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – News Channel 8 has obtained several new documents related to the deadly DUI crash the day after Gasparilla.

The crash, which killed two people, happened on George J. Bean Parkway near Tampa International Airport.

Search warrants identify the victims as Juan P. Santana Tortosa, the ride share driver of a 2009 Ford Fusion, and a passenger, William D. Holzapfel. At the time of the crash, the Tampa Police Department declined to release the victims’ names, citing Marsy’s Law.

According to an online obituary, Tortosa is from the Orlando area.

In the newly released warrants, TPD detectives say the crash happened in the northbound lanes just after 3 a.m. on Jan. 26.

Alexander Jacobson was driving the wrong way, documents show.

“The force of the impact caused the Jeep Wrangler to drive up and over the Ford Fusion causing the roof of the Ford Fusion to be detached,” the warrants show.

An eyewitness, Luis Rojas, told detectives he noticed Jacobson exit the Wrangler “wearing numerous Gasparilla beads around his neck,” the documents say.

Another eyewitness, Stephanie Paragallo, was headed to the airport and stopped to help. She told police she knows sign language and communicated with Jacobson, who is hearing impaired. She said he told her that he had four to six beers earlier, the warrants explain.

Later, a Tampa International Airport police officer arrived on scene and spoke with Jacobson. Jacobson told the officer he was headed home from Ybor City “and got turned around.” Jacobson said he tried to avoid the other vehicle, the officer reported.

A TPD officer also spoke to Jacobson and reported that he smelled “marijuana coming from his person,” the warrants show.

“Search incident to arrest, three beer bottle caps and a small amount of suspected marijuana was recovered from his person,” the detective wrote in one of the warrants.

In a later interview with detectives, Jacobson said “he drove his Jeep Wrangler to participate in the Gasparilla parade with friends” and “during the parade he had several beers.”

Jacobson remains at the Orient Road Jail in Hillsborough County. He is charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, jail records show.

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