The Florida Highway Patrol filed more charges against the man accused of driving the wrong way on I-95 during a police pursuit.
Troopers arrested 25-year-old Willie Dumel at Memorial Regional Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. He was charged with four counts of vehicular homicide and one count of driving while license suspended.
"He was released from the hospital, signed out by the doctor, and he's on his way to county jail right now," said FHP Trooper Joe Sanchez.
The Opa-locka Police Department is expected to file an additional charge against Dumel. He was previously charged with fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer in the April 3rd crash.
The chase and the crash
According to the arrest affidavit, Opa-locka Police Corporal Sergio Perez observed a black Chevrolet Suburban make an improper right turn from the center lane at Northwest 22nd Avenue and S.R. 9. A recording of police communications during the pursuit indicate Perez recognized Dumel or the vehicle in connection with a robbery.
When Perez activated his emergency lights and sirens, Dumel drove away, according to the affidavit. Dumel entered northbound I-95 at the Golden Glades Interchange, then exited westbound at Ives Dairy Road. He then entered the southbound exit ramp at Ives Dairy Road but was heading northbound.
"He was fleeing from the Opa-locka Police Department and was traveling in the opposite direction on I-95, where he collided with a car head-on," said Sanchez.
The crash killed the four people inside the van, identified as: Dennis Ryan Rinon Ortiz, 33, of California; Albertson Anthony Almase, 31, of Fort Lauderdale; Kristina Almase, 26, of Fort Lauderdale; and, Lily Marie Azarcon, 26, of the Philippines.
Opa-locka police are investigating whether Perez pursued Dumel the wrong way on I-95 after he allegedly fled from a traffic stop.
According to the department's chase protocol: "Officers shall not operate their vehicle in a manner that causes them to go against the flow of traffic in an effort to maintain contact with the fleeing vehicle. Officers shall try to parallel the fleeing vehicle by going with the flow of traffic and keeping other units advised via radio."
Perez was put on administrative leave.
Dumel broke his legs in the crash. He told detectives his name was Paolo Lafrance.
"It is believed that the defendant gave that name in an attempt to conceal his true identity," stated the arrest affidavit. "Defendant's license is suspended and defendant has a possible warrant for probation violation."