I-95 crash: Three killed in accident after 17 cars crash in pile-up amid ‘super fog’ event in Florida

At least three people are dead after more than a dozen vehicles crashed in a pileup on an interstate in Volusia County, Florida, according to local reports.

The Miami Herald reports that at least five crashes occurred on I-95 in in Edgewater, Florida. The incident unfolded at around 1.30am Thursday when visibility was severely impacted due to fog and a controlled burn in the area.

At least one semi truck was involved, according to authorities. One child was airlifted to hospital in stable condition, the Herald reported.

It is unclear how many people were injured in the crashes but a number have been taken to local hospitals for treatment.

Much of the blame for the crash has been placed on a “super fog” event in which smoke and moisture mix with cool air and drop visibility levels to less than 10ft.

I-95 remains closed in the vicinity of Edgewater, and the northbound lanes will need to be resurfaced before they can reopen.

Key Points

  • ‘Super fog’ event believed to be cause of crash

  • Three dead, 17 cars involved in five crashes

  • I-95 closed north and southbound in Volusia Country Florida

At least three dead in series of pile-ups in Florida

14:14 , Oliver O'Connell

At least three people have died in a series of pile-ups along the I95 corridor in Florida in zero visibility conditions early on Thursday morning.

Authorities said smoke from a prescribed burn combined with fog to create a near blackout at 1.30am along the busy interstate in Volusia County.

Both north and southbound lanes saw multiple crashes at around 1.30am, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes said on Thursday.

Zero visibility thought to be cause

14:19 , Oliver O'Connell

“What we now know happened is there was almost zero visibility in the area based on smoke and fog that had mixed together and visibility dropped to zero,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes said on Thursday.

Four crashes in northbound lane, six vehicle pile-up southbound

14:24 , Oliver O'Connell

Spectrum News 13 reported four separate crashes involving 11 vehicles in the northbound lane, which resulted in one fatality and many injuries.

In the southbound lane, a six-vehicle pile-up involving four semi-trailers, an SUV and a van left two drivers dead, Florida Highway Patrol Lt Kim Montes said.

Several children were among the injured.

One of the semi-trucks caught fire, causing a huge fireball to erupt.

Early reporting showed fiery wreckage

14:30 , Oliver O'Connell

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Daylight reveals extent of ‘super fog event’

14:35 , Oliver O'Connell

What is being termed a “super fog event” caused sharp drops in visibility leading to the 17 cars to crash in five separate incidents.

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Smoke from controlled burn contributing factor

14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

On Wednesday, the City of Edgewater’s Fire Department notified the public of a controlled burn west of the I-95 and said some smoke may be visible if the wind changes direction.

Authorities now believe smoke from the prescribed burn combined with fog to create the near blackout conditions at 1.30am along the busy interstate in Volusia County.

Everything we know so far

14:56 , Oliver O'Connell

Bevan Hurley reports on the massive pile-up event on I-95 in Florida.

Three dead in five-crash pile-up on I-95 caused by ‘prescribed burn’ smoke

Number of injured remains unknown

15:10 , Oliver O'Connell

An unknown number of people have been injured in the incident, with one child airlifted to hospital.

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What is ‘super fog’?

15:20 , Oliver O'Connell

According to the National Weather Service, a “super fog” forms when a mixture of smoke and moisture released from damp smoldering organic material such as brush, leaves and trees, mixes with cooler, nearly saturated air.

Visibility is lowered to less than 10 feet. Under light wind conditions, super fog meanders through low terrain areas such as creek beds or drainage ditches.

Super fog can be very dangerous when present over highways, and has been the cause of several large, multi-vehicle pileups.

15:35 , Oliver O'Connell

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Road closures

15:40 , Oliver O'Connell

I-95 northbound is closed at State Road 5A (mile marker 231) to State Road 442. Drivers can re-enter northbound I-95 at SR-442.

I-95 southbound is closed at State Road 44 (mile marker 249) to State Road 5A. Drivers can re-enter southbound at SR-5A.

State troopers said the southbound side will open first.

An emergency paving crew will repair the lanes once debris from the crash is removed.

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Extent of incident revealed in daylight

16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The extent of the incident became apparent when day broke - the crashes happened at approximately 1.30am.

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16:15 , Oliver O'Connell

ABC affiliate WFTV9′s Q McCray reports that a red SUV involved in the southbound crash was towing a motorcycle at the time.

The SUV was sandwiched between two tractor-trailers, and the driver was killed in the crash.

16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Spectrum News 13’s Eric Mock says the Interstate may not reopen until well into the afternoon or early evening.

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Florida Highway Patrol gave a press conference earlier

16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Not long after 7am when the light had improved, Florida Highway Patrol gave a press conference confirming the number of vehicles and fatalities.

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Key highway remains closed in both directions

17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Detours remain in effect as the key north-south I-95 highway remains closed.

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More footage emerges of aftermath of crash

17:20 , Oliver O'Connell

A diesel fuel spill from the big rig crashes caused a fire and explosion in the dense fog.

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Highway Patrol provided escort

17:35 , Oliver O'Connell

In the aftermath of the response to the crash, media attempting to access the scene were escorted by Florida Highway Patrol as the fog was still so thick.

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17:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Motorcycle being towed by SUV ended up inside the car when it was rear-ended by a semi tractor trailer. One person died in that crash with a child in the car evacuated to hospital.

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Fox affiliate posts compilation footage of I-95 pile-up aftermath

18:28 , Oliver O'Connell

‘Everything went white, you couldn’t see nothing'

19:10 , Oliver O'Connell

WFTV9 reports:

Johnny Johnson said he was forced to slow down when his rig was slammed from behind. His truck was one of 17 vehicles involved in five crashes near State Road 442 around 1.30am.

“We came on down the road and all of the sudden everything went white, you couldn’t see nothing,” Mr Johnson said.