TAMPA - Investigators have turned up no indication that Daniel Lee Morris, a driver who entered I-275 in the wrong direction and caused a fatal crash, was suicidal. But law enforcement officials said Tuesday they haven't ruled out suicide as a possible cause.
Morris was identified Tuesday as the driver who entered I-275 in the wrong direction early Sunday morning and struck a vehicle with four USF students. He had strong ties to Hillsborough County and attended East Lake High School in Riverview.
Florida Highway Patrol trooper said Morris recently moved back to Tampa Bay from Michigan and was staying with a friend. They said his friend's SUV was the one he crashed on I-275.
Robert DiBacco spotted Morris' headlights on I-275 before the crash. He is still trying to shake an awful feeling that made him go him and remind his wife he loves her.
"It was an eerie feeling to see that car coming on the same side of us," he said.
He estimated Morris was driving between 90 and 100 miles. The SUV sped towards him near the Bearss Avenue exit. DiBacco changed lanes just in time.
DiBacco said his brother-in-law dialed 911, a call not yet released by Florida Highway Patrol.
Seconds later, the Ford Expedition careened into the car of USF students and burst into flames, killing everyone involved.
"Still today, days later, talking about it, I feel, thankful for the Lord that I'm still here," DiBacco said.