VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Three people were killed and several others were injured early Thursday in a massive, fiery pileup on Interstate 95 in Volusia County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Troopers said 17 vehicles, including several tractor-trailers, were involved in five crashes around 1:30 am on both sides of the highway near the State Road 442 exit in Edgewater, south of Daytona Beach.
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The FHP said four wrecks involving 11 vehicles happened on I-95 north, killing one person.
Two people died in a six-vehicle pileup on I-95 south, the FHP said. The crash involved four semis, a van and an SUV, according to troopers, who added that the drivers of one of the big rigs and the SUV died in the crash.
One child was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, and an unknown number of victims were taken to Halifax Health, according to the FHP.
Troopers said at least two tractor-trailers burst into flames during the crashes.
According to FHP spokeswoman Kim Montes, drivers said visibility suddenly dropped to zero in the area and some of them stopped on the shoulder of the interstate while others stopped on the roadway.
News 6 meteorologist Jonathan Kegges said fog, smoke and temperature inversion, a weather event known as “super fog,” likely caused the conditions.
The National Weather Service later tweeted, “Unfortunately, super fog contributed to the incident on I-95 in Volusia Co early this AM. With super fog, visibility is lowered to <10ft. It has caused several large pileups, namely on I-4 near Davenport (2008) & on I-75 S of Gainesville (2012). Our thoughts are with the victims.”
Unfortunately, super fog contributed to the incident on I-95 in Volusia Co early this AM. With super fog, visibility is lowered to <10ft. It has caused several large pileups, namely on I-4 near Davenport (2008) & on I-75 S of Gainesville (2012). Our thoughts are with the victims. pic.twitter.com/NLHouCt1hc
— NWS Melbourne (@NWSMelbourne) March 3, 2022
All northbound and southbound lanes are closed in the area and are not expected to reopen until sometime Thursday afternoon.
Northbound lanes are closed at SR-5A (MM 231) to SR 442. Drivers can re-enter northbound I-95 at SR 442.
Southbound I-95 is closed at SR 44 (MM 249) to SR 5A. Drivers can re-enter southbound at SR 5A.
Troopers said northbound lanes were damaged by fire and will need to be re-paved before they are reopened.
US 1 can be used as an alternate route.
Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this developing story.
*** MAJOR TRAFFIC ALERT – SHUTDOWN ***
Multiple vehicles/Multiple fatalities – #Brevard/#Volusia
– NB I-95 shutdown at 231MM (SR-5a Mims)
– SB I-95 shutdown at SR-44 (Volusia)
– THIS WILL BE CLOSED FOR HOURS POSSIBLY INTO THE AFTERNOON pic.twitter.com/rJzw50icdb
— “Trooper Steve” Montiero (@TrooperSteve_) March 3, 2022
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism