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Woman dies in five-vehicle crash on I-75

TAMPA — A chain-reaction crash involving five vehicles on northbound Interstate 75 just south of the Bruce B. Downs exit Saturday afternoon left one person dead and another in critical condition.

It also sent six others to area hospitals.

Rachel Edwards, 34, of Plant City died after being taken by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital. In critical condition is Harry Edwards, a 6-year-old passenger in one of the vehicles.

The Florida Highway Patrol gave this report.

Jeffrey C. Nicoll Jr., 21, driving a 1993 Oldsmobile, didn't notice traffic slowing ahead of him on the inside lane of northbound I-75 and rear-ended a 2001 Toyota Rav4.

The Rav4, driven by Jason H. Edwards of Plant City, spun into the right lane and hit a 2004 Chevrolet pickup truck before flipping onto to its roof in the center of the roadway. Rachel Edwards was a passenger in the Rav4. Jason and Jake Edwards, 3, suffered minor injuries.

Nicoll, who suffered minor injuries, kept going and rear-ended a 2003 Mitsubishi driven by Jeffrey S. Larchar that was pushed into a Mercury van.

All of Nicoll's passengers — Kevin Land, 18, Sara Sims, 19, and Jessica Phelps, 20 — were in serious condition Saturday night at University Community Hospital Fletcher.

The crash happened shortly after 2 p.m. and the freeway was reduced to one lane as crews worked to remove the wrecked vehicles. It was reopened to normal traffic at about 5:45 p.m.

Woman dies in five-vehicle crash on I-75 06/27/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 28, 2009 12:55am]

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