TAMPA, Fla. - The wrong-way driver who died in a fiery crash that also killed four University of South Florida students was identified Tuesday as Daniel Lee Morris, 28, of Michigan.
Morris was driving an Expedition southbound in the northbound lanes of I-275 when he collided head-on with the Hyundai Sonata carrying the students just north of Busch Boulevard early Sunday. It took several days for the driver to be identified because of the extensive fire damage.
ABC Action News talked to Morris' wife, Tanya Dunn, who said she and her husband had recently separated. They had been married since 2007. She doesn't think her husband purposely entered the highway in the wrong direction, but she believes there's a very good possibility he was intoxicated.
"He would never intentionally hurt nobody. He was never the type that would go on what everybody is calling a suicide mission," she said. "I see how it looks that way, but he wasn't that person."
She's struggling to cope with the number of deaths the crash caused.
"It was harder for me to grasp the concept that other people passed away along with him," she said. "I feel so bad for their family and their friends. I'm so sorry for what they went through."
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Morris recently moved to Tampa from St. Claire Shores, Michigan, and had been living with a friend, Scott Eric Enfinger, 27, of Tampa. On Feb. 9th, Morris took Enfinger's Ford Expedition, which was involved in the crash shortly after, according to the FHP report.
The four USF students were identified as Jobin Joy Kuriakose, Ankeet Harshad Patel, Imtiyaz Ilias and Dammie Yesudhas.
It is unknown at this time when the Expedition entered the highway going the wrong way and if drugs or alcohol played a factor in the crash.
The four students were part of the Sigma Beta Rho fraternity at USF. Three were current students, while one was a recent graduate. A memorial for those killed will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the USF student center on Thursday, February 13.