TAMPA (FOX 13) - A suspected drunk driver who's accused of causing a deadly wrong-way crash on I-275 in 2012 has been captured in Spain after three years on the run, authorities said Wednesday.
The news of Christopher Ponce's arrest came as a relief to Wade Angel whose son, William Angel, died in the accident.
"This morning my wife and I balled," Wade Angel said, adding he found out early in the morning in the form of an email. "Once sentence; It was from the State's Attorney's Office that said, 'Mr. Angel, good news, Christopher Ponce has been arrested in Spain.'"
"[I was] numb at first, honestly and after that it was a little bit of relief and then maybe kind of some grief too," said Robert Newberry, who was in William Angel's front passenger seat, and broke his arm and ankle.
Ponce disappeared in 2013, after he cut off his ankle bracelet while he was on house arrest.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers said just before 3 a.m. on July 19, 2012, Ponce was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of I-275 when he collided head-on with another vehicle near downtown Tampa, killing the driver, William Angel, 20, of Wesley Chapel, and injuring two passengers.
Ponce was also transported to the hospital, but was charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide when he was released.
Ponce fled and was the subject of an intense nationwide search, which included billboards, an episode of "The Hunt with John Walsh, and a Facebook community created by family members and friends focused on finding him.
"When this first happened, when I started my websites and the Facebook page, I was working 15 hours a day. That was my job, looking for Christopher Ponce," Wade Angel told FOX 13, adding he went through every emotion after finding out about the arrest. "We lost [my son] again this morning. But this time, [Ponce] is in jail and he's not getting out. There will be no bond. There will be no house arrest."
Spanish police found Ponce and arrested him at a bus stop.
The other two victims in the crash had similar messages for him.
"Well I hope you enjoyed your vacation, mate, because you're coming home now," said Jay Davis, who was thrown from the vehicle and suffered a severe spinal injury.
"I'll see you in court," added Newberry.
Extradition has begun, troopers said, which could take several months.
"Christopher, you chose this," Wade Angel said. "So now we're going to play it out. It's going to go to the end. Those who helped him, they're going to learn a lesson."