WUFT News

Low visibility once again shuts down both lanes of U.S. 441 and I-75 in parts of Alachua County

By on January 29th, 2012

 

Smokey conditions continued Sunday evening near Paynes Prairie on U.S. 441 (photo by Donna Green-Townsend)

The Florida Highway Patrol has closed parts of Interstate 75 and U.S. 441 this morning because of low visibility in the same area where 10 people died in a multiple-vehicle crash early Sunday.  Drivers are encouraged to call 511 for highway information.

In addition to the 10 fatalities on Sunday at least 18 others were transported to Shands Hospital in Gainesville and other surrounding hospitals.  The Florida Highway Patrol reports at least 12 passenger cars and approximately 7 semi-trucks were involved.  Alachua County Sheriff’s deputies and highway patrol officials say the dense smoke from a brush fire on Paynes Prairie Saturday night was a factor in the pileup.  Shands Hospital Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Timothy Flynn, held a press conference at the Shands Cancer Hospital at 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon and described the situation at the hospital following the early morning pileup:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Parts of I-75 remained closed for hours on Sunday because of the damage to the roadway.  Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell says the crashes and resulting vehicle fires damaged the southbound lanes.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Law enforcement will continue to monitor the smoke situation on highways as forestry and fire crews continue to try to put out the smoldering fire on the prairie.

Law enforcement redirected traffic from I-75 to U.S. 441 on Sunday (photo by Donna Green-Townsend)

The highway patrol is continuing its investigation into the accidents and the decision to first close and then reopen the roadways early Sunday morning before the accidents occurred.  The names of the victims have yet to be released.

 

(Morning helicopter video from Sunday courtesy Orlando NBC affiliate WESH)

 


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Uncategorized

Students Run Colored in Orange and Blue

Clouds of orange and blue cornstarch rained down on more than 1,000 University of Florida students and some members of the Gainesville community as they ran through Fraternity Row, leaving Flavet Field behind them. The runners participated in the second annual [...]


Feb. 11, 2014: Morning News in 90

A video roundup of local, state and national stories for readers in North Central Florida.


Feb. 5, 2014: Afternoon News In 90

A video roundup of local, state and national stories for readers in North Central Florida.


Jan. 22, 2014: Morning News In 90

A video roundup of local, state and national stories for readers in North Central Florida.


Courtesy: Florida Museum of Natural History

Florida Museum of Natural History Celebrates Butterflies

The Florida Museum of Natural History will host its eighth annual Butterflyfest this weekend. Entertainment at Butterflyfest will include live performances, workshops, and engaging challenges for visitors to participate in. Jaret Daniels, Interim Director of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, [...]


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments