ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. — At least seven people were killed and several others injured in a fiery crash on Interstate 75 near Gainesville on Thursday.
According to Alachua County Fire Rescue, the crash occurred at 3:42 p.m. on I-75 near mile marker 393 north of Northwest 39th Avenue. Florida Highway Patrol says that the crash involved two tractor-trailers, a passenger van and a mid-size four-door sedan. The two tractor-trailers were close together and caught on fire. The passenger van was also involved in the fire.
Six fatalities were initially reported on scene, one additional fatality was reported by 8 p.m. Thursday. Additionally, at least seven patients were transported to area hospitals from the scene, multiple patients with critical injuries.
The fire was put out around 5:15 p.m. Thursday. Fire officials say that 50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled as a result of the crash.
ACFR's UAV team and ASO's AIR 1 helicopter responded to the scene to help with locating possible patients that may have been ejected during the crash.
Southbound I-75 was shut down in the area for extensive periods on Thursday, and could remained closed through the morning commute on Friday. There is a significant amount of damage to the road due to the fire. The road will be closed for several more hours. All northbound lanes of I-75 reopened at 8 p.m. Thursday.
The UF Health emergency response mass casualty plan was activated at approximately 4:25 p.m. due to the accident. Six patients arrived at UF Health and are being cared for by UF Health faculty and staff.
There is a pending homicide investigation, the FHP report stated.
No additional information has been released at this time.