Florida Highway Pileup Kills At Least 10 People

The Florida Highway Patrol says 10 people have died in a series of early-morning crashes on a dark highway that was shrouded in haze and smoke.

Officials say at least 18 were injured in crashes on both sides of Interstate 75 south of Gainesville shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday.

Authorities are trying to determine what caused the pileup. The highway had been closed for a time because of the mixture of fog and heavy smoke from a brush fire that may have been intentionally set. At least five cars and six tractor-trailers were involved.

Dr. Timothy Flynn, chief medical officer for Shands Healthcare, says three of the six patients being treated in the trauma center needed surgery. Four patients remain in the hospital's emergency room, and eight people have been treated and released.

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  • by Shine Location: NE NC on Jan 31, 2012 at 09:34 PM
    Hwy 75 and also 95 are bad down south Ga. Fla. when they have fires. Gotta alot friends around Gainsville - Ocala If the tourist traffic didn't think they had to drive 20 mph faster than everyone else... so they can get somewhere 5 minutes faster we wouldn't have as much of a problem.
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Jan 31, 2012 at 03:26 PM
    Don't discount this scenario NOT happening near you. I remember a semi-truck driver being killed on our highway 70W years ago, because smoke from an overnight fire had drifted across the highway before the a.m. commute; it caused a chain reaction. It's really disconcerting to suddenly run into a blinding smoke or fog on a highway. I've done it too; your first thought is 'what do I do?'; you try to brake; you look for lights. This happened to me on the New Bern overpass one day; a truck was 'sweeping' dust on the Southbound lanes heading into New Bern; it blew into a dust storm all the way across the Northbound lanes of the overpass. I had no time to slow, was blinded and scared, but came out the other side with good visibility. However, I'm a seasoned driver. Sounds like they reopened that stretch too soon. Very sad.

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