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Man rams Fla. trooper vehicle, kills 3 in head-on collision during pursuit

The stolen vehicle slammed into an Uber van while driving the wrong way on a freeway, killing 3 people inside

By Ryan Ballogg
The Bradenton Herald

BRADENTON, Fla. — A Hialeah man is charged with murder after he allegedly led law enforcement on a chase over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in a stolen car on Wednesday night and then caused a fatal wreck, Florida Highway Patrol said in a news release.

Leosvany Arias Roman, 22, is also charged with vehicular homicide, aggravated fleeing and eluding, driving with a suspended license and battery on a law enforcement officer, FHP said.

Troopers say Roman was behind the wheel of a stolen Ford Mustang in Hillsborough County late Wednesday night when deputies tried to pull him over. He rammed a patrol vehicle and drove away “at very high speeds,” driving south on Interstate 275 , FHP said.

State troopers were called in to assist while the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office’s helicopter unit tracked the Mustang from above, FHP said.

A trooper attempted to stop the car at the Skyway, but the Mustang hit the trooper’s vehicle, FHP said. Roman then drove to the top of the Skyway, turned around and rammed the trooper’s vehicle, according to an FHP release.

He then continued speeding north in the southbound lanes on I-275 , where he crashed head-on into a Dodge Caravan . The van was an in-service Uber heading toward Manatee County with three passengers, troopers said.

Head-on crash kills Bradenton man, FHP says

The Uber driver, a 33-year-old Bradenton man, was killed, as was a 52-year-old man from Columbiana, Ohio . Two other passengers from Columbiana , a 51-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, were seriously injured.

In an update on Sunday, FHP said that the 51-year-old woman died overnight at an area hospital.

The crash victims’ names have not been released to the public.

Roman had serious injuries and was taken to a hospital, troopers said.

The trooper, a 27-year-old who has been with the agency for two years, had minor injuries and was also taken to a hospital.

The southbound lanes of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and part of I-275 were shut down until 6:40 a.m. while the crash was investigated, FHP said.


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