Investigators are now faulting the Florida Highway Patrol for a crash that resulted in the death of 11 motorists.
Interstate 75 in Florida was the scene of a tragic series of accidents in January of this year. At the time of the incident, smoke from a brushfire mixed with fog and made it impossible to see anything on the road. Vehicles began to crash into each other with the low visibility. 11 people died during the incident and many more were injured.
Recently, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a report analyzing the accident and its causes. While, investigators said that there was no ill-intent, police should have handled the situation differently.
One concern was that prior to the accident, the highway had been closed down because of a different accident and because of the fire. A Sheriff’s Deputy reopened the highway and the crash ensued. The report noted that the deputy had received no formal training on how to determine whether or not the road should have been opened.
There was also concern that the Highway Patrol was not adequately communicating with the forest service and did not check on weather forecasts regarding the smoke and fog.
The report concluded with a number of suggestions as to how future problems might be remedied. Beyond additional training to law enforcement, it suggested that there be electronic message boards installed in areas prone to high fog.