Officials Confirm Children Among Deceased In Fiery I-75 Crash, Homicide Investigation Pending
UPDATE: Published 1/4/2019 @ 6:00 a.m. EDT.
We are learning new information this morning about the horrific crash that took the lives of seven people and injured at least seven more on Thursday along I-75 in Florida. Officials late Thursday night increased the death toll to 7 people and also, for the first time, confirmed numerous children were among the deceased.
Lt. Patrick Riordan with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) spoke to a group of reporters late Thursday evening and confirmed the tragic news. Additionally, he said the investigation will take some time because of the large scope of the scene.
“This is a big investigation… it’s a large scene… there’s a lot of people that have lost their lives. We are working as diligently as we can, but we are going to be very thorough about this investigation. Our priority at this point is to make next of kin notification, but we have to know who those people are,” FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan said.
#breakingnews #FHP confirms children are among the dead in horrific crash on I-75. 7 confirmed fatalities and at least 6 injured. @abcactionnews I-75 south will remain closed overnight and possibly into the morning. pic.twitter.com/BrfcGfySjk
— Michael Paluska (@MichaelPaluska) January 4, 2019
According to Alachua County Fire Rescue, the crash occurred at 3:42 p.m. on I-75 near mile marker 393 north of Northwest 39th Avenue. Florida Highway Patrol says that the crash involved two tractor-trailers, a passenger van and a mid-size four-door sedan.
“There was two tractor traitors… once they collided, those two tractor trailers caught on fire, as well as a passenger car caught on fire. The damage from the fire was pretty extensive and that’s a lot of what’s on the roadway right now,” FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan told reporters during the press availability.
The collision caused a diesel spill leak estimated to be 50 gallons. The diesel fuel ignited and engulfed the vehicles in flames.
Who and what caused the fatal accident is not yet known, but Lt. Riordan said a homicide investigation into the crash is now pending.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to update you as new information becomes available.
A motorist shot this video from the scene shortly following the crash.
Shared courtesy of 10News WTSP/YouTube.
Original Story Published: 1/3/2019 @ 6:00 p.m. EDT.
7 Confirmed Dead, At Least 7 Injured In Fiery Multiple Big Rig And Passenger Vehicle Crash
Alachua County, Florida – Seven people have now been confirmed dead and seven more have been transported to local Gainesville, Florida, area hospitals after a fiery accident involving two big rigs and two other passenger vehicles on I-75.
The Florida Highway Patrol says the crash along I-75 in the northbound lanes on Thursday happened about a mile south of Alachua, near Gainesville at mile marker 394. Authorities say approximately 50 gallons of diesel spilled onto the roadway after two semi-trucks and two passenger vehicles were involved in a pileup.
Photo courtesy of Mandi Lamonda
The diesel fuel ignited and erupted creating a horrific scene. Rescue crews believe that victims may still be in the woods near the roadway.
Investigators have not yet released the cause of the accident or the identities of the victims. This is a developing story we will continue to follow.