Fatal Wrong-Way Crash on Tampa's I-275 Caught on Video | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Fatal Wrong-Way Crash on Tampa's I-275 Caught on Video

A little past 2 a.m. Sunday, Jada Wright was driving south on the I-275 in Tampa. When she looked over in the northbound lanes on the other side of the concrete barrier, she saw a white Ford Expedition traveling parallel to her on the wrong side of the highway.

"What is he doing? Am I being mind-fucked right now?" Wright says in the video she shot and later posted to Facebook. Less than 50 seconds after she started recording, Wright unintentionally captures the fiery crash that killed five (four USF students and the wrong-way driver).

In the video, Wright is aiming at the 2001 white Ford Expedition driving alongside her on the I-275 in Tampa north of the Busch Boulevard exit. The white SUV is clearly on the opposite side of the concrete barrier heading south on the northbound lanes.

"He's on the wrong side," Wright says, sounding confused. "Y'all excuse my curse words right now but this is... OK..."

Wright then focuses ahead of her to show that she is in fact going the proper way. On the opposite side of the barrier, Wright captures (what we counted to be) 14 cars whiz past the white SUV, miraculously missing the wrong-way vehicle. "It was a car going directly at me in the same lane," Crystal Fountain told Tampa's News 13. She says she was heading north when the Ford SUV sped past her in the opposite direction. "It was going straight; it was going fast. All I could think of was the car was on a death mission."

Then, almost 50 seconds into the video, Wright loses focus of the SUV and starts screaming and crying. "Oh my God! Oh my God!" Wright yells repeatedly. She then fumbles her focus but captures a bright, fiery explosion before she quickly stops recording.

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Jess Swanson is a staff writer at New Times. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and wrote briefly for the student newspaper until realizing her true calling: pissing off fraternity brothers by reporting about their parties on her crime blog. Especially gifted in jumping rope and solving Rubik’s cubes, she also holds the title for longest stint as an unpaid intern in New Times history. She left the Magic City for New York to earn her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, where she spent a year profiling circumcised men who were trying to regrow their foreskins for a story that ultimately won the John Horgan Award for Critical Science Journalism. Terrified by pizza rats and arctic temperatures, she quickly returned to her natural habitat.
Contact: Jess Swanson

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