Wrong-way driver in I-275 collision was impaired, troopers say

The Florida Highway Patrol doesn’t know how the northbound driver got onto southbound Interstate 275, which led to the St. Petersburg crash.
Published March 22
Updated March 22

ST. PETERSBURG — A 37-year-old woman was impaired when she drove the wrong way on Interstate 275 and crashed into another car early Friday, leaving that driver with serious injuries, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Jessica Leigh Murphy, of St. Petersburg, was arrested on charges of DUI causing serious bodily injury and reckless driving with serious bodily injury.

FROM 2018: Wrong-way drivers on Tampa Bay interstates are not uncommon: Five other tragic cases

The incident took place at about 3:17 a.m. on southbound Interstate 275, south of Gandy Boulevard.

Murphy was driving a 2017 Subaru Forester north in the inside southbound lane of I-275, according to the Highway Patrol. The agency did not know how she ended up driving in the wrong direction and or where she got onto the interstate.

The driving in the right direction of southbound I-275 was Priscilla Ann Mouzon. The 24-year-old Clearwater woman was driving a 2013 Buick Verano in the inside southbound lane of I-275.

Then the wrong-way Subaru struck the Buick, troopers said, sending both vehicles spinning to the east and west shoulders of the interstate.

The Subaru caught fire after the crash, troopers said. Murphy, who was wearing her seatbelt, escaped with minor injuries and was treated at Bayfront Health St Petersburg hospital. Mouzon suffered serious injuries and was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg for treatment.

Murphy was later booked into the Pinellas County jail, where she was freed Friday afternoon after posting $10,000 bail. No other information about the incident was released, including the driver’s blood-alcohol level was.

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