One of the worst traffic accidents in recent memory has left ten people dead and 18 people in the hospital after a brush fire caused limited visibility on the freeway in Gainesville, Florida.
The accident occurred in the early morning hours on Sunday at around 3:45 a.m., when the smoke from a nearby brush fire coupled with fog on the I-75 in northern Florida.
The pileup happened on both sides of the freeway and closed all of the lanes of the freeway in both directions as authorities worked to remove victims from their cars and put out the fires from the accident.
There is no word yet as to what was the initial accident that sparked the pile-up, but at least seven tractor trailer trucks were involved.
When emergency crews arrived, visibility was so poor that they could only locate victims by their moans and screams.
The passenger cars smashed into the trailer trucks and in some cases were crushed beneath the trucks when they were hit again from traffic coming from behind them.
One of the victims of the accident, Donna Henry, told the Gainesville Sun newspaper that she was on the southbound side of the freeway when she was suddenly blinded by the smoke.
Henry said, “We just hit it, and you couldn’t see anything. You heard like 15 times somebody hit, from this side and that, north and south. It was bad.”
Her car hit the guardrail on the outside lane and ended up off the side of the road. She called emergency responders to the scene.
She reportedly heard other crashed occurring throughout the time period.
The freeway had been closed previously due to poor visibility, but was reopened hours before the crash when authorities thought that the smoke had cleared.
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