Wrong-way, alcohol-involved I-4 crash leaves driver dead

- The Florida Highway Patrol said a wrong-way driver caused a deadly crash on I-4 early Saturday morning.

According to troopers, 24-year-old Travis Coats was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-4 in Polk County shortly after 3 a.m.

Coats crashed head-on into a Ford Fusion driven by a 32-year-old  Demerrio Alistaire Tobler from St. Petersburg, who was pronounced deceased at the scene. Coats had minor injuries, FHP said.

Coats' Dodge Ram struck a second eastbound vehicle, driven by 23-year-old Emily Smart. Smart suffered minor injuries.

According to FHP investigators, Coats was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. He was arrested and is facing several charges, including DUI manslaughter.

The highway was closed for several hours after the crash, but it has since reopened.


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