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Woman pulled from burning car on I-4 in Tampa charged with DUI

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Posted at 11:56 AM, Apr 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-23 12:06:26-04

A woman helped out of a burning car on Interstate 4 near the 21st Street exit Saturday has been charged with drunk driving, official said. 

In addition to DUI, Katherine Emil Melendez Vega, 36, of Tampa, was arrested on driving with a suspended license and refusal to submit to a lawful breath/urine/blood test. 

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a gray Honda car driven by Melendez Vega was headed northbound on Interstate 275 at the entrance to Interstate 4 in a reckless manner before the crash. 

Witnesses told the Highway Patrol the Honda was being driven on a rim and flat tire and traveling all over the road, unable to stay in a single lane, a FHP report said. The car nearly collided with several vehicles.

When Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Alan Hernandez-Ginarte arrived on the scene, the Honda was fully engulfed on the I-4 exit ramp to 21st Street. He spoke to the driver, who the trooper said, exhibited signs of possible impairment.

Melendez Vega was  taken into custody after she was interviewed by a state trooper, performed a field sobriety exercise but declined to provide a blood sample.