FILIPINO FATALITIES IN FLORIDA HIGH SPEED POLICE CHASE

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

April 5, 2013

MIAMI – It was a high speed police chase that turned fatal.

A car driven by a man running away from authorities hit a minivan, killing 4 Filipinos onboard.

Reports say it began when an Opa-Locka police officer attempted to pull over Willie Dumel – the driver of a Chevy Suburban SUV who made an improper right turn.

Dumel fled, Opa-Locka police Sergio Perez chased him.

When the 25-year-old driver went the wrong direction on Interstate-95 heading northbound in the southbound lanes, Perez broke off the chase.

But moments after, Dumel hit a Kia minivan head on.

This report was confirmed to Balitang America after the Florida Highway Patrol notified the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC of the accident involving a Philippine national on Thursday.

Lily Marie Azarcon, 26, from the Philippines was identified after her LTO issued driver’s license was found on the scene.

The three others are believed to be Filipino Americans including the minivan driver Dennis Ryan Rinon Ortiz, 33, from California.

Also dead on the scene are siblings Albertson Almase, 31 and Kristina Almase, 26.

Both are reported to be residents of Fort Lauderdale and are said to be members of the US Navy.

The SUV’s driver survived the crash and was hospitalized with two broken legs.

Charges against Dumel are pending.

The remains of all four are at the Miami Dade Morgue Office.

Florida Highway Patrol State Trooper Jose Sanchez said arrangements are being made for family members from the Philippines and from California to claim the remains of the Filipinos in the next few days.

Contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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