Florida Highway Patrol

January 30, 2012 by staff 

Florida Highway Patrol, A Florida highway near Gainesville reopened on Monday, more than 30 hours after a horrific pileup that left ten people dead, according to the state Highway Patrol.

The pre-dawn crash on I-75 on Sunday involved a dozen cars and seven trucks that piled up as fog and smoke blanketed the roadway and dramatically limited visibility, Florida Highway Patrol said.

The pileup left ten people dead and at least 18 injured. Some of the vehicles involved caught fire in a blaze that melted the asphalt, while other cars were crumpled or jammed under tractor trailers, it said.

The Interstate reopened at about at 11 a.m. Monday, it said.

Prior to the crash, authorities closed portions of the roadway due to limited visibility, but subsequently reopened it, according to Robert Gordon, a Highway Patrol spokesman.

Authorities were investigating a marsh fire in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park on Saturday that contributed to the smoky conditions on the highway. They are seeking to determine if it was an accidental blaze or started intentionally, said Ludie Bond of the Florida Forest Service.

At least 10 of the injured victims remained hospitalized on Monday. Six of them had been admitted to Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville in critical condition.

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