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Florida Highway Pile-up Accident on I-75 in Gainesville Claims at Least 10 Lives, Many Others Hospitalized with Injuries

Authorities continue to investigate possible causes surrounding a deadly Florida highway pileup traffic accident that claimed the lives of at least 10 people and sent some 18 others to area hospitals with injuries. The multi-vehicle accident occurred in the southbound lanes of Florida Interstate 75 in Gainesville this past weekend.

Witnesses and survivors told the media the pileup crash looked like “the end of the world,” as several passenger vehicles collided with large commercial trucks and possibly one motor home. Some cars became trapped beneath the jackknifed larger vehicles and many burst into flames. Reporters allowed to tour the accident site reported bodies still inside charred and smoking wreckage.

Accident witnesses suggested that fog and/or smoke from a fire in the Gainesville, Fla. area dropped highway visibility for drivers, possibly setting off this deadly chain reaction highway accident. Authorities are investigating whether a nearby fire may have in fact been set. Florida Highway Patrol told the media that at least a dozen cars and several large commercial trucks were involved in this horrific accident.

Palm Beach County car accident injury attorneys who work with grieving families and injured motorists are all too aware how traffic on Florida highways can turn deadly in an instant.

Florida highway pile-up accidents, also known as chain reaction traffic accidents or multi-vehicle crashes, are deadly occurrences, which often claim multiple lives. Vehicles traveling on highways who suddenly come upon stopped or crashed cars and trucks — may themselves become part of the pile-up crash, if they’re unable to brake or avoid the pileup accident in time.

Multi-vehicle highway crashes are difficult for emergency personnel including police, fire, and EMS ambulances to respond to. The volume of crashed vehicles makes it more challenging for emergency personnel to get to and assist the victims. Emergency responders reported that the heavy smoke on I-75 at the time of the pileup crash made it difficult to locate victims. Hospitals in the Gainesville, Florida area reported being inundated with injured accident victims.

Other causes of highway pileup accidents may include weather, construction, or obstacles in the highway. Distracted driving may also lead to multi-vehicle crashes — including when drivers in the opposite or other lanes slow down to gawk at highway accidents (aka “rubbernecking”). Speed may also be a factor in situations where drivers are tailgating or following other vehicles too closely, and someone suddenly brakes or stops on the roadway.

Florida authorities told the media that they are looking into whether a fire in the area may have been deliberately set. No doubt this tragic story will continue to unfold in the days to come, as authorities and investigators continue to gather more information as to the cause of this deadly highway accident.

Sources:

Cause sought for deadly Fla. highway pileup
WSVN-TV.com Jan. 30, 2012
Florida highway pileup kills at least 10 people
Palm Beach Post News Jan. 30, 2012
Related Web Resource:

Wikipedia: Multi-Vehicle Collision (list of other pileup crashes in the U.S.)