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Two sisters, 23 and 24, mourned after wrong-way I-95 crash

Sisters Brittany and Alexis Musumeci of Pompano Beach killed in collision with wrong-way driver on I-95

As they headed toward their mother's home in Pompano Beach, sisters Brittany and Alexis Musumeci both were at crossroads in their young lives, contemplating futures full of promise.

Brittany, 23, was an accomplished violinist, a recent college honors graduate thinking about a career performing or in teaching, according to friend Rebecca Ottman.

Alexis, at 24, was an Air Force staff sergeant about to head to a new assignment in Korea.

On Saturday, as the sisters were returning to Pompano Beach from a trip to Orlando's Disney World, the 2007 Toyota Matrix they were in collided head-on with a car going the wrong way on Interstate 95 in Martin County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Both the Toyota and the 2006 Jeep Cherokee driven by Admerson Cleber Eugenio Vicente, 23, burst into flames, sending a ball of fire into the air that was captured on a cellphone by at least one passerby.

Both Brittany, who was driving the Toyota, and Alexis died at the scene, FHP said.

Vicente, of Jupiter, was critically injured and remained Tuesday in Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce.

Investigators said Vicente was going north in the inside southbound lane when the cars collided at 9:40 p.m.

The southbound lanes of the interstate were closed until 3 a.m. Sunday, FHP Sgt. Mark Wysocky said.

"Brittany was just about to take that next step in realizing her dreams," said Ottman, a pianist who works for the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, from which Brittany Musumeci graduated in May. Ottman had been Brittany's accompanist on many occasions, she said.

In their last conversation days ago, Ottman said Brittany mentioned wanting to open a studio to teach music to underprivileged children. "She did not get a chance to do it," Ottman said.

Bernard Zinck, a professor of music at UW-M, described Brittany as a young woman "with so much to look forward to.

"She was really a special student, very talented, not pretentious, kind, respectful and she loved to perform," he said. "She had a very attractive, natural sound."

Born in South Florida to a Cuban-American mother and a father of Italian heritage, Brittany, Alexis and an older sister moved with their mother to Wisconsin when they were young, Ottman said. Their father died several years ago, she said.

Survivors include their mother, Martha Canizares, and a sister, Bianca Alvarez, of Wisconsin.

Services are pending, Ottman said.

The crash remains under investigation, according to Wysocky.

Staff writers Rebeca Piccardo and Lisa Huriash and researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.

mwclary@tribune.com

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