In a previous post we wrote about a massive car accident in the Florida city of Gainesville in late January that left 11 people dead. This post provides more information on what caused it to occur.
According to the story, a brush fire started in the afternoon hours alongside Interstate-75 in Alachua County, Florida. The fire sent smoke into the air that greatly reduced visibility on the interstate. Eventually, a thick fog settled over the area, making driving a hazardous experience.
The first crash, in the half-mile long section of the interstate, took place about 4 a.m. on Jan. 29, according to Ocala.com. A chain of crashes followed. In all 11 people were killed in the accidents, while 20 were taken to area hospitals. Numerous other drivers were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Witnesses quoted by Olcala.com said that the accident scene resembled a nightmare, with twisted cars and fires everywhere. A firefighter quoted by the website said that it was the kind of accident scene that you hope to never encounter again in a career. Other fire-rescue personnel told reporters that they’d never seen such a devastating accident.
The odds are high that the Intestate-75 accident ranks as the deadliest chain of accidents in Alachua County history.
The accidents also point out just how important it is for motorists to use caution when driving through foggy conditions. When visibility is blocked, motorists won’t see obstacles in the road — including stopped cars — until it is often too late. And when these motorists are traveling at high speeds, as is often the case on highways, the results can prove fatal.
If you find yourself traveling in conditions that limit or erase your visibility, remember, there is no crime in pulling over and waiting until conditions improve. It might make you late for your next appointment, but it could also help you avoid a potentially fatal car accident.
Source: Ocala.com, “Anatomy of a tragedy: I-75 crashes,” Cindy Swirko, Feb. 4, 2012