Florida Highway Patrol and UCF Police are investigating a fatal car accident that occurred Friday night at the intersection of Alafaya Trail and Strategy Boulevard. Valencia student Helen Lewis-Verdu, 18, died on scene after losing control over her vehicle when her left tire tread separated. She was traveling northbound on Alafaya Trail, according to the official report obtained by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Montes said that the one-car accident will remain under investigation pending autopsy reports. Montes said that responders smelled alcohol in the car.

"The call came in as an auto accident with entrapment," said Kat Kennedy, public information officer for Orange County Fire Rescue. "One person was identified as unresponsive at the scene. ... There was a dog in the vehicle, which is why Animal Services was also on the scene."

Lewis-Verdu was traveling with a puppy in the car, who was uninjured and given to her parents.

UCF PD spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin said that Lewis-Verdu had been accepted to UCF, but never enrolled in classes.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_or email her at

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