Recently, on I-75 just south of Gainesville, at least 12 cars and 6 semi-trucks were involved in a multi-vehicle accident that killed at least 11 people. The Huffington Post reports investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash, but believe fog and smoke from a nearby brush fire may have contributed.
Several cars and trucks caught fire during the pile-up, further decreasing visibility and melting part of the road. Rescue workers had to rely on screams to find survivors in the wrecked vehicles that covered a mile stretch of the interstate. At least 18 people were taken to the hospital for treatment of their serious accident injuries. In January 2008 a similar crash took place on I-4 between Orlando and Tampa. 70 vehicles were involved in serious car accidents that left 4 people dead and sent 38 others to the hospital.
Steven R. Camps of Gainesville survived the accident by jumping out as his car was hit. According to Camps, “You could hear cars hitting each other. People were crying. People were screaming. It was crazy,” he said. “If I could give you an idea of what it looked like, I would say it looked like the end of the world.” He also reported seeing cars crushed under semi-trucks.
While the FHP looks into the crash, investigators from the Florida Forest Service are also looking into the brush fire. The fire may have been intentionally set as there were no controlled burns planned and no lightning was reported.