A motorist accused of driving his car the wrong way on Interstate 275, causing a fatal accident, had racked up 10 driving violations including DUI, driving with a suspended license and careless driving, state records show.
Christopher Ponce, 22, was in serious condition Thursday at Tampa General Hospital. The Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate how Ponce’s 2012 Ford Fusion ended up going south in the northbound lanes of I-275 in downtown Tampa, where it struck another car head-on.
The driver of the second vehicle, William Brooks Angel, 20, died at the scene. His passengers, Robert Patrick Newberry, 22, of Lutz, and Jay Davis, 20, of Wesley Chapel, were in serious condition Thursday at St. Joseph’s Hospital, the highway patrol said.
Ponce was arrested last year in Tampa for driving with a suspended license, state records show. In 2009, he was arrested by Tallahassee police for DUI.
Ponce pleaded no contest to the charge and had his driver’s license suspended for six months, records show. Ponce also was given six months’ probation and ordered to attend classes about driving under the influence.
Since he became licensed to drive at age 16, Ponce has had eight other traffic citations, records show.