Five Children Among Seven Dead in Massive Gainesville Crash
The deadliest accident on I-75 since 2012 occurred on Thursday, January 3rd, when a passenger van, a sedan, and two tractor-trailers were involved in a massive car crash that resulted in the deaths of seven people, five of whom were children. According to the initial reports emerging around this incident, it happened close to 3:00 in the afternoon along a southbound stretch of I-75 that lies a mile or so south of Alachua.
The precise details of the incident remain unknown, and an investigation into the accident is underway as numerous agencies within the area attempt to unravel just what occurred to cause this tragic event. Reports from witnesses stated that a massive noise occurred and then the trucks were lying on their sides with the two cars crashed into them. After only a few seconds, a massive explosion shook the entire scene when a load of diesel fuel ignited.
While not much is currently available on the identity of the individuals involved, we know that the passenger van was taking children to Disney World. It is not clear if this van belonged to an organization or if it was a family van, but we do know that five of the people who died in the accident were inside of this vehicle.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the fire and explosion was the direct result of nearly 50 gallons of diesel fuel that poured onto the roadway after the collision. It is not clear which of the vehicles was carrying the fuel that spilled into the road.
Authorities are currently trying to identify the deceased individuals as well as notify their families. At the time of this writing, it is also believed that numerous people were transported from the crash site to hospitals located in the area. Many of those taken from the scene of the accident to hospitals were admitted as being in critical condition.
The collision resulted in massive lane closures along both the southern and northern lanes of this stretch of road, and by Friday morning only – while the northern lanes were reopened – only one of the southern lanes of I-75 had been cleared.
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.