ID of driver in deadly wrong-way Fla. crash remains a mystery

One victim of a wrong-way crash on Interstate 95, Florida, April 3, 2013. Sun Sentinel

Last Updated Apr 3, 2013 5:36 PM EDT

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. Mystery surrounds the identity of a man who was allegedly fleeing police in Florida when his SUV slammed into a minivan, killing its four occupants.

The SUV was reportedly traveling the wrong way when the crash happened on Interstate 95, south of Fort Lauderdale, early Wednesday.

The Florida Highway Patrol identified the SUV driver as Paolo LaFrance, 24, on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The scene of a four-person fatality, Interstate 95, Florida, April 3, 2013.
Sun Sentinel

However the Sun Sentinel reported a young man claiming to be the real Paolo LaFrance went to the Opa-locka Police Department before 4 pm to say his identity was stolen three years ago, according to David Chiverton, assistant city manager of Opa-locka.

Detectives were traveling to the hospital, where the suspect was having surgery on broken legs, to fingerprint him, Chiverton said.

The unidentified suspect has so far been charged with fleeing or attempt to elude a law enforcement officer in a marked vehicle.

Other charges, such as multiple counts of vehicular homicide are "probably coming in the near future," and would ultimately be filed by state prosecutors, Chiverton said in a Wednesday press conference.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the accident happened as police were pursuing a sport utility vehicle when it headed northbound in the interstate's southbound lanes.

CBS Miami station WFOR reported the SUV crashed into a minivan at Hallandale Beach Boulevard, killing all four people inside.

WFOR reported the SUV was being pursued by police from Opa-locka in Miami-Dade County. Opa-Locka police officials say the suspect in the SUV threw a gun out the window on I-95 before crashing into the van.

Chiverton said officers had stopped pursuing the SUV before it got onto I-95.

The Broward Sheriff's Office said all southbound lanes of I-95 were shut down while an investigation continued.

None of the victims' names has been released.

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