The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) recently issued a report that was sharply critical of Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) troopers’ actions in the aftermath of a deadly chain reaction accident on Interstate 75 in January. Shortly after the accident, troopers were the targets of much criticism for reopening I-75 even though large portions were blanketed with fog and smoke from a nearby wildfire. In the April report, the FDLE criticized troopers directly for how they handled the situation and their judgment for reopening the interstate.
Transcripts from 911 calls during the accident illustrate the terror and chaos in and near the chain reaction collisions.
While one caller was reporting an earlier accident, they witnessed another.
"Another accident. Oh my God," said the caller.
"What just happened? Tell me what happened?" the dispatcher responded.
"Another accident. Another accident. Going northbound," the caller said.
Accident victims and onlookers were terrified during the ordeal, as smoke and fog prevented many from seeing what was going on around them while they heard one collision after another and the screams of the injured.
The FDLE said that a lack of proper training for such conditions was a contributing factor to the deadly accidents. They reported that the FHP was supposed to have instituted specialized training for such conditions after a similar series of accidents on Interstate 4 in 2008. They also cited other factors including inadequate communication between FHP headquarters in Jacksonville and troopers on the scene and the failure to relay information about the scope of the nearby wildfire.
These developments have spurred outrage from the families of those killed during this accident and many of those injured and rightly so, as some of the deaths and injuries could have been avoided if the FHP had not reopened Interstate 75 so quickly. If you or a loved one was injured in this chain reaction accident and you would like to learn more about your rights and legal options, call Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham today to schedule a free consultation. He has a long and proven record of success helping injured people receive damages through court awards and settlements and may be able to help you, too. Call 888-425-2004 today.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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