TAMPA — Two people were killed and three others seriously injured in an early-morning crash that shut down the eastbound lanes of Interstate 4 for hours early Wednesday, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
A 34-year-old Winter Haven man was driving an Audi R8 at a high rate of speed on I-4 approaching 50th Street when he collided with the rear of a Toyota Camry while changing lanes to pass it, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The crash caused the Toyota to spin and catch fire. The Audi hit an inside guardrail and veered across the interstate before coming to rest in the outside shoulder.
The male driver and a male passenger in the Toyota were killed. The driver of the Audi and two passengers, a 35-year-old Tampa woman and a 21-year-old Tampa woman, received serious injuries and are hospitalized, according to a news release at 1:15 p.m. The three people in the Audi were not wearing seat belts, troopers said.
The Highway Patrol earlier had identified the 35-year-old Tampa woman as the driver.
The driver of the Audi is believed to have been impaired by alcohol at the time of the crash, troopers said. The Highway Patrol did not release the names of any of those involved in the crash.
The crash happened about 1:45 a.m. A 4-mile stretch of the eastbound lanes was closed from downtown Tampa east to Martin Luther King Boulevard, according to a real-time state traffic map. All lanes reopened around 8 a.m.
The crash also brought traffic to a crawl approaching downtown on Interstate 275, as far west as Dale Mabry Highway and as far north as Fowler Avenue, the map showed.
This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.