Saturday, November 18, 2017
Transportation

Closed lanes of I-75 reopen after deadly weekend crashes

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The closed lanes of Interstate 75 and U.S. 441 in the Gainesville area reopened Monday after at least 10 people died and 18 were hospitalized in a multivehicle pileup Sunday morning

The Florida Highway Patrol shut down all northbound lanes of I-75 at mile marker 358 and all southbound at mile marker 382 Monday morning due to a dangerous combination of fog and smoke in the air. The agency had opened the road briefly overnight.

According to officials, several hundred feet of southbound and northbound I-75 lanes were damaged and would need to be resurfaced but were safe to drive on in the meantime.

Fog and smoke from a wildfire in the Paynes Prairie area were blamed for creating the nightmarish conditions on I-75 that lead to one of the worst traffic disasters in Florida history.

Troopers shut down the road temporarily over the weekend, but reopened it at some point before the collisions began around 4 a.m.

Motorists using the road Monday morning were encouraged to find alternate routes, such as U.S. 301 or U.S. 27.

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