Sunday, January 29, 2012

At least nine dead and 18 wounded in fatal pileup after heavy overnight haze from marsh fire clouds Florida interstate

At least nine people died in a series of crashes apparently caused by heavy smoke and fog overnight on Interstate 75 in north Florida, authorities said Sunday.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Patrick Riordan said the pileups happened around 3.45am Sunday on both sides of I-75 south of Gainesville. All lanes of the interstate remained closed as investigators began trying to figure out what caused the early morning crashes.

Riordan said several people were injured and taken to Gainesville hospitals. Their conditions were unclear.

At least 18 people hurt in the wreck were being treated at Shands at the University of Florida, said hospital spokeswoman Allison Wilson.

The FHP had closed the highway briefly overnight because of a mixture of fog and smoke from a marsh fire in the Paynes Prairie area south of Gainesville. Read More