An early Thursday morning pileup of 17 vehicle collisions on Interstate 95 in Volusia County left at least 3 individuals dead and numerous more wounded, along with a toddler, troopers said.
Lt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol told a press conference that four collisions in the northern lanes involved 11 vehicles, while four 18-wheelers, as well as a van, were involved in one collision in the south lanes at the Road 442 entrance in Edgewater at about 1:30 a.m. She also reported that a number of the semi-trucks had gone up in flames.
The inquiry and cleaning have necessitated the closure of the roadway in both lanes in the region. Closures are likely to extend throughout the day, and well into the night.
The I-4 exit at Edgewater is roughly 18 miles south of Daytona Beach. In Montes’ opinion, vehicles must avoid I-95 and utilize other roads, such as US 1, instead. According to Montes, the view was almost nil at the scene of the collision due to heavy smoke and fog. As per WESH-TV researcher Kellianne Klass, this was caused by “super fog,” a rare occurrence including smoke (there was a controlled burn in the region) plus humidity, which may restrict visibility.
“The drivers that were able to talk to us did say the visibility suddenly dropped to zero and they were unable to see inches from their vehicle,” Montes said. “Some of those drivers attempted to pull off at the shoulder and of course, some of them stopped on the road and that’s again where we had our chain reaction crashes happen.”
A DEADLY WRECK
Latest from @FHPOrlando on north & south bound closures in #edgewater area following deadly crashes at 1:30 this am. Southbound COULD reopen about 7ish. Longer for northbound but still likely tonight. Road repairs taking awhile. pic.twitter.com/05hrP5zhv5
— claire metz (@clairemetzwesh) March 3, 2022
There were so many people seriously injured or killed in the disaster that even experienced the first responder Montes was shocked that anybody survived. She expressed sadness for the relatives of all those who lost someone close to them or were seriously wounded.
Caught between 2 semis, a red automobile can be seen in the video filmed by a local Television station. The semis were burned, ruined, and destroyed. WFTV claimed that a motorbike was being towed by the red sedan, and the motorbike ended up inside the vehicle.
BREAKING: 3 crashes on I95 N & S in Volusia County
– 3 people are dead
– Several airlifted to hospital
One of the crashes was this semi truck. It caught fire and led to an explosion.@FHPOrlando investigating.
— Alexa Lorenzo (@ALorenzoTV) March 3, 2022
Several individuals, including a toddler, were evacuated to the treatment center, according to Montes. As far as she knows, there is no danger to their lives. One person was killed in a northbound collision, and two individuals were killed in a southbound lane mishap, she added. According to Montes, the inquiry will take a long time.