While Florida authorities continue to investigate the cause of the Interstate 75 pileup on Sunday which left 10 people dead and many others injured, one man has said the Florida crashes looked as if they were the end of (the) world.
Crash reports could be released in about 10 days, an official at Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said.
Steven R. Camps, 23, told The Associated Press that he and some friends were driving home to Gainesville in separate vehicles in the northbound lanes when they saw that had traffic stalled because of the heavy smoke and fog.
Camps said he and the friend were talking to a man in a car that stopped next to them. Suddenly another vehicle hit the man's car, according to The AP, and the man's vehicle was crushed under a tractor-trailer that stopped in front of them.
Camps told the news organization that his car was hit twice. However, he and his friend managed to escape.
12 cars, 7 semi-trucks result in deaths
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said that multiple crashes happened around 4 a.m. on I-75's northbound and southbound lanes at mile marker 379, in Alachua County. At least 12 passenger cars and approximately seven semi-trucks were involved in the crashes that resulted in 10 fatalities, the department said.
Eighteen people were transported to the Shands Hospital in Gainesville and other local hospitals, authorities reported at the time. The number of injuries have since risen to 21, according to The Gainesville Sun.
Authorities told CNN the Florida crashes are being blamed on poor visibility from smoke from a nearby brush fire.
The National Weather Service in Jacksonville issued a dense smoke advisory Sunday which remained in effect until 8 a.m. Monday, according to CNN, which reported the advisory stated that smoke from nearby fires would cut visibility to less than a mile in some places.
The Gainesville Sun reported Monday there was a three-vehicle crash before the deadly pileup. The paper reported Trooper M.J. Todd wrote in his report that a three-vehicle crash happened at 11:55 p.m. Saturday, and involved a 2012 Freightliner semi driven by Myron P. Allen, 59, of Tennessee; a 2000 Toyota SUV driven by Andrew R. Kusel, 20, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and a 2002 Lexus SUV driven by Tramel S. Moss, 32, of Gainesville.
Moss had one passenger, Willee Moss, 59, also of Gainesville. Willee Moss was the only person injured in that accident and taken to Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in serious condition, The Gainesville Sun said.
All three vehicles were headed north in the center lane of I-75 when the crash happened two miles south of the Williston Road exit, the The Gainesville Sun.
There was heavy smoke in the area, causing low visibility, Todd wrote in the report.