TAMPA (FOX 13) - Three people died in a crash on the Selmon Expressway Thursday. Tampa police say an impaired driver, Amber Nicole Perera, lost control, setting off a multi-vehicle chain reaction. She fled the scene, but was caught minutes later.
It happened just after 4 p.m. a half-mile east of the W. Euclid Avenue entrance ramp. Investigators say Perera was speeding in the eastbound lanes when she hit another car. The collision caused that car to veer into the grass median, enter a westbound lane, hit two westbound vehicles, and burst into flames.
Perera also veered into the westbound lane traffic, investigators say. She continued driving, but not for long. Her car sustained damages from the crash and broke down. A witness followed her and waited for police to arrive.
All three people in the eastbound car died at the scene.
The occupants of one of the westbound vehicles was uninjured. The driver of the other westbound vehicle was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
According to Perera's arrest affidavit, she admitted to taking prescription medication, including Ativan and Lexapro. Both can cause drowsiness. Results of her blood alcohol concentration test are still pending. She has been charged with three counts of DUI manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury, hit-and-run involving injury/death and tampering with evidence.
Detectives were not able to release names of any of the victims. Lanes reopened early Friday morning.