The Florida Highway Patrol has identified a total of 7 victims of the deadly multivehicle accident on Interstate 75 on Monday. Three of the victims have been burned severely, and have not yet been identified. The 7th victim has been identified as a 27-year-old woman from Gainesville, Florida. Other victims include the members of a pastor's family, who were on their way back to Atlanta.
Meanwhile, investigations into the accident have begun. Local investigators will be joined by investigators from the Federal Department of Law Enforcement. For now, investigators believe that the tragedy was the result of poor visibility conditions on the interstate. Conditions were smoky, from a brush fire nearby. Investigators are looking at the causes of the brush fire, and there is some belief that the fire was intentional.
However, Florida car accident lawyers expect that more attention will be paid to the decision to open up the interstate when road conditions were clearly not fit for travel. Authorities had opened up the highway late on Sunday evening, after having closed it down because of the smoky conditions. That led to a massive multivehicle pileup that included at least 12 vehicles, 6 commercial trucks and one motor home. Ten people have been confirmed dead in the accident, and 18 have been injured.
Rescue efforts were hampered by the fact that visibility was so poor. In some cases, victims could hardly extricate themselves from their own cars, because they could not see right in front of them. Rescuers were forced to rely on their sense of hearing, looking for sounds of screaming and moaning from survivors. Many of the vehicles burst into flames upon impact, worsening an already bad situation.