Massive Florida Pileup Kills at Least 10 Drivers

Massive Florida Pileup Kills at Least 10 DriversOn Sunday, January 29, a long line of cars collided with each other on a dark Florida highway where a mixture of smoke and haze had created conditions that blinded drivers, resulting in a car accident that killed at least 10 people, The Associated Press reports.

According to the news source, when emergency responders first arrived at the scene they had major difficulty locating injured motorists that were strewn for nearly a mile in the thick smog. An investigation is still working to determine the initial cause of the pileup, which occurred on Interstate 75 just south of Gainesville.

The roadway had been closed for some time before the accident due to the poor visibility caused by smoke from a nearby brush fire. More than a dozen cars and six tractor trailers were involved in the crash, with several catching fire.

Steven R. Camps was driving home with several friends when he encountered the sprawling pileup.

"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."

Photos of the crash site reveal twisted, burned-out vehicles on the pavement with smoke rising from several locations. Cars looked to have crashed into big rigs and even a motor home, while others were trapped beneath large trucks.

Camps said that as he approached the accident, all traffic was stopped in the northbound lanes.

"You couldn't see anything. People were pulling off the road," he said.

Later reports show an 11th person was found dead, while a total of 18 motorists were taken to the hospital, the news source stated.

According to United Press International, the Florida Highway Patrol found the 11th victim inside a Dodge pickup truck with severe burns. The man was reportedly killed when his truck crashed into a tractor trailer in the southbound lanes of I-75.

Now, investigations are taking place to evaluate the highway patrol's decision to open the interstate only 30 minutes before the accident occurred.

The crash is reminiscent of an accident that took place on Interstate 4 in Florida in 2008, when four people were killed and 38 were injured in a chain-reaction crash that also stemmed from foggy, smoky conditions.

According to the AP, more than 70 vehicles were involved in the accident.