After a fiery crash occurred between two big rigs and two passenger vehicles on I-75 near Gainesville on January 3rd, Florida’s highway death toll has quickly jumped to seven people for 2019. Although accidents on Florida’s highways are nothing new, this incident has gained a lot of attention already from the media not only because of the severity of the collision but also because authorities are now investigating it as a homicide. Although it is unclear why authorities are treating this truck accident as a homicide case rather than just a motor vehicle wreck is still unknown, however, various sources have shared details on the wreck all of which we are providing you with below.
Here’s what we know about the major truck collision that occurred on I-75 near Alachua.
On January 3rd, The Gainesville Sun reported that officials had been notified about a serious crash at around 3:33 p.m. involving two tractor-trailer rigs, a passenger van, and a mid-sized sedan. The incident, which occurred on the southbound side of I-75 near mile marker 393 north of Northwest 39thAvenue, left both sides of the interstate shut down as workers from various agencies arrived to investigate and help clean up. Although law enforcement hasn’t yet shared what may have caused the accident, apparently two big rigs and the two passenger vehicles somehow collided into one another causing a major fire to break out.
It was estimated that about 50 gallons of diesel fuel had spilled as a result of the impact, leaving the trailers of the rigs burned as well as parts of the other vehicles that were involved. In fact, police weren’t yet sure whether it was the impact of the crash or the fire which led to seven people dying and several others sustaining injuries. The news source highlighted that one of the victims who was killed in the accident had been occupying one of the tractor-trailer’s, but it wasn’t clear whether that person was the driver or a passenger. It was also reported that five of the victims who died were from the passenger van.
Art Forgey, who is a spokesman for the Alachua County Sheriff’s office, stated that dispatch records indicated that the van had been carrying a group of children who were heading to Disney World although that information hasn’t yet to be confirmed. The news outlet went on to highlight that the others who suffered severe injuries were transported to UF Health Shands Hospital under a trauma alert. Authorities have yet to release the names of the victims as they were working to identify them first before they notified their families.
Because of the severity of the collision and the fact that a significant amount of fuel had spilled on the roadway, hazardous materials teams were also deployed to the scene along with many other agencies to get the highway cleaned up and reopened. FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan had stated that there were “engine parts and components,” along with “a lot of area that [was] burned” which means “contamination of fuel is a high probability.” Although the highway had reopened on the northbound side, officials didn’t expect to get the southbound lanes open until sometime on Friday.
It’s unfortunate to see and read about accidents of this size and nature but sadly, hundreds of collisions transpire on Florida’s highways as a result of careless and negligent drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road, rather, are just focused on getting to where they need to go. And if you or someone you know was injured or killed in a truck accident in FL or another type of motor vehicle collision and you are looking to seek justice for the pain you are now suffering with, contact USAttorneys.com today.
The truth is, the best and most effective way to hold a reckless driver accountable for their behavior is with the help a FL accident attorney can provide you with. To get connected with a compassionate and dedicated accident lawyer in your area now, simply click here to share some details pertaining to your accident so that you can be connected with a legal representative who is qualified and capable of providing you with the assistance you will need.