A Florida highway pileup was caused by a mixture of brush fire smoke and fog near a stretch of the I-75 highway near Gainesville, Florida where 10 people died and several others were injured early Sunday morning.
The Florida wreck involved about 10 passenger vehicles and 4 or 5 tractor trailers and a motor home with some of them exploding on the highway and catching fire, leaving behind a charred shell, across a stretch of the road with a pileup spanning about a mile in both directions.
Visibility was still so poor when rescue vehicles arrived that emergency workers had to listen for screams to try and locate the injured.
One witness, Steven Camps said he was phoned by a friend traveling in a separate car ahead of him to warn him of the poor visibility and one accident that had already occurred.
When Camps approached the area where visibility was poor, the traffic had stopped and he and a friend that was a passenger in his vehicle began talking to a man in the lane next to them about the conditions, when a car rammed into the back of the man’s car and pinning it under the tractor trailer in front of him.
Camps and his passenger were able to escape injury by jumping out of their vehicle and running to the crass near the shoulder as Camps car was stroke twice.
“You couldn’t see anything. People were pulling off the road,” Camps said. “You could hear cars hitting each other. People were crying. People were screaming. It was crazy. If I could give you an idea of what it looked like, I would say it looked like the end of world.”
The Florida Highway Patrol had actually shut down the highway for a short time prior to the pileup due to poor visibility but re-opened it when conditions improved.
Nine people died at the scene and 1 more died of injuries at the hospital while 18 others were taken to the hospital for injuries.