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Three killed in 21-vehicle crash in Columbia County

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

LAKE CITY, Fla. – A brief press release from Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) provided few details about the crash at mile marker 414 on I-75 that closed all northbound lanes of the highway for almost 12 hours. According to the release, the crash occurred in Columbia County at 12:40 a.m.; there was a fog alert at the time.

21 vehicles were involved in the crash, and three people were killed. FHP did not release any details about the deceased.

The crash is under investigation.

  • I75 SR93 had degraded into the absolute worst highway around. Even worse than I95. The road surface is deteriorated to the point where cars will hydroplane when raining, the surface is pockmarked and uneven due to the massive amount of vehicles it carries daily. Traffic comes to a standstill several times a day both ways.
    Guardrails are broken or non existent, and idiot speed racers are out of control. No laws, no rules, FHP is spread thin working crashed in unincorporated county areas. I75 is the new Bermuda triangle. Beware.

    • You are correct, “the idiot speed racers are out of control.” And it really has nothing to do with the FHP. It has to do with the reality that when you are captaining a vehicle you are responsible for everyone around you and your actions have consequences. Kind of like carrying a firearm. We have a group that thinks they have all the answers, yet they have lived almost no time. I am not sure what will solve the issue, but maybe this sort of thing reported correctly like the Chronicle does may help. I will be interested in how WCJB and the SUN report this. Telltale.

      • It has everything to do with FHP they need to increase their pay so they are not short troopers put enough on I 75 writing tickets to slow down the idiots take there higher ups out of the office let them work the interstate a few hours every day i have a driven from Gainesville to Tampa and never seen a trooper on 75

        • There are often troopers near the Micanopy exit…
          I’m sure the FHP is very short staffed, as are GPD and ASO and most law enforcement in the country the past 2 1/2 years. Law enforcement have never have been paid what they are worth to our society, and with the “defund the police” anti-cop movement that BLM and Antifa generated after George Floyd died, why would anyone want to go into that line of work?
          Lawlessness is definitely on the rise, as is disrespect for traditional institutions and cultural norms. This is what the Leftists want- chaos and an unraveling of our culture and our country.
          The question is, will enough people wake up and fight back against this stuff before it’s too late?
          Be careful out there, everyone. It’s likely to get much worse before it starts to get better…

      • Amen to that about we have a group of children thinking they know everything these last three generations are totally clueless and yet they are the ones that are about to be running the country already are in some instances they have no regard for anything but self all we can do is pray which can be powerful if we all do it

    • How offen do you drive on I 75 ??
      I live in Gainesville drive to Lake city 5 day a week their is no missing guardrails the broken ones are usually fix within a week the road surface is no worse than I 10 from lake city to Tallahassee.
      Now I totally agree with you on the rest. It is a race track. FHP is non-existent. It’s that way from the state line to the turn pike speeding, reckless, drivers, aggressive drivers road rage is an every day occurrence

      • GH….you are totally in error about the “non-existent FHP” troopers! They are out there….the problem is there isn’t enough of them. Having been with Troop C as a Crash Investigator, there were instances when I had to work serious crashes over an hour alone due to the fact that my nearest brother would be working another crash all the way across Tampa. It’s not the troopers fault!

    • I LOATHE traveling ANY Interstate Highways anymore! They ALL have issues…especially *construction* areas. And, the IDIOT drivers that weave in/out of traffic, butting in between other vehicles…they are WRECKS (NOT accidents) looking for a place to HAPPEN!

  • We were driving on I75 Northbound, and stopped by an unmarked FHP trooper. He appeared to be very upset, actually yelling at us. We were traveling at a speed of 75mph, and he advised us on Floridas new law about following the flow of traffic. He said, if flow of traffic is 90mph in the fast lane, you need to follow it. This is Florida’s law. I laughed and he gave us a warning. This is crazy! Read about it in the Florida statute. I didn’t make it up.

    • If you were staying in the left lane at 75mph then that is a problem. If you were just passing someone then the trooper should have left you alone. Either way 90 is excessive and shouldn’t be allowed.

    • This is ridiculous to do. If traffic is doing 90 in the fast lane I’ll prefer to drive 75 no faster than 75. And prefer to be in rt. Lane w slower traffic.or the middle lane.

  • I hate that interstate; I will take every small highway, road I can to avoid it. It scares me to death.

  • Not the best way to start off the new year & prayers to those affected.

    On the other hand, many comments blame FHP or at least throw a portion of blame. Has anyone given any consideration to the fact that traffic citations appear to be down over the past couple years? That may not be a direct result of FHP’s personnel losses but instead their, as well as other LEOs, that by pulling over certain demographics they may be accused of profiling. Last I checked, all thoroughfares go through counties in Florida so local LEOs can exercise jurisdiction as well. I’ve seen GPD turn their heads when people are texting, ignoring school zones & such. Comes as no surprise, city leaders turn their heads at the homeless population around certain areas as well.
    Whatever helps them sleep better at night.

      • KH…And? It was not “playing” the race card. It was providing a possible alternative reason for the reduction of traffic citations being administered to those violating the traffic laws. Why do you suppose so many law enforcement officers are leaving or retiring in the current times? If they don’t feel they have the support of their superiors enforcing the traffic laws, regardless of ethnicity or other demographic, why stay? It’s unfortunate that many don’t feel they get the support from the communities they serve and protect. That’s what happens when people are categorized not by who they are but what they are.

        Instead, there are people on this medium placing blame on FHP. That’s ridiculous. Just think about it, if you blame FHP for this accident and others, why not blame other agencies, even gun manufacturers, for crimes committed with firearms. Time to stop deflecting.

        Here’s an idea, start a “Pre-crime” unit. A police force that can arrest people for just harboring an ill thought against another person. I guess that would solve all of our problems wouldn’t it? Not.

  • This is why we need Rural Toll Roads. The “freeways” have morphed into main streets, with all kinds of unsafe drivers pushing up the car accidents and auto insurance rates.
    Rural toll roads will provide relief for trucks and suburban residents. Without encouraging endless urban sprawl and worse traffic, widening projects that only makes conditions less safe.

  • Accidents happen it is life. reckless driving and speeding are not accidents. The rules exist to save lives! everyone thinks they can do what they want. Drive safe take 5 minutes longer so everyone arrives alive. we are all out there together remember that. I will pray for all the families.

  • One of the major problems on our interstates (I-75) are too many large trucks, pick-ups pulling large trailers, motorhomes, and the like, driving too fast. Speed limits should be lowered for such vehicles and the “NO Trucks” in the left lane enforced including Pick-up Trucks with large trailers (boats, horse, and Etc). Everyone seems to think it only includes semis. These laws can be enforced with sattelite if not enough FHP troopers are available. The big truck companies make there drivers obey the laws but many don’t. Florida has actually gotten to the point that something has to be done. Too many people moving in and too many tourist, they have taken one of the best states and making it like CA. everything built over and too many people.

    • HMM if you don’t like big trucks on the freeway then stop ordering stuff and the trucks will disappear but remember we have no manufacturing jobs and little produce so a lot of stuff comes by truck and that is if it can be gotten to ship here to Florida. I travel I-75 for work the main issue I see is lack of respect for fellow drivers both Floridians and Tourists alike cars and Trucks. Drivers will not yield to the faster one and I don’t care what you drive. The most ignored sign on the Highways to is
      Slow Traffic Keep Right
      it is not your job to be a roving road block.
      As for blaming FHP that’s not fair to them they have limits on where and when to be places so before you blame anybody else look in the mirror and ask
      Was I a Good Driver today.
      this is not to throw you or anybody under the wheels
      I just try to be a better person today then I was yesterday

  • 55 Stay Alive… anyone old enough to remember that? I agree, 55 is dead slow on a 3 lane highway where everyone is going the same direction (most of the time). Maybe 65 is the answer? As a THI investigator, I 100% support the FHP being out and writing ticket, warnings, whatever it takes to slow people down. Troopers often get called to work crashes off of the interstate on rural roads which cuts their presence on 75. Look at why tickets and traffic enforcement have gone down. I will mark time with the Michael Brown case in Missouri. After that, all the blm stuff, and officers quitting due to lack of support, protests, defunding, low pay, very few individuals are choosing law enforcement anymore. Its sad… maybe things will turn the other way in the future.

  • Sheriff Crevasse, had billboards in the seventies, that said “Speed Kills”. When that pile-up started, just being a little slower might have saved a life.

  • I drive on I-75 a lot, traveling between Alachua & Tampa. It never fails, almost every time there is at least 1-crash, usually involving a semi-truck. I see speeding and tailgating the primary causes of these crashes. To me, it doesn’t matter if FHP is out or not. I drive the same way whether their there or not. It’s called “personal responsibility “. I learned how to drive on a motorcycle, so I learned “defensive driving” very early on.
    Teach it to every driver while they have their permits!
    Don’t tailgate!
    Drop your speed down!
    Quit zig-zagging in and out of traffic!
    Put the age of driving a semi back to 25!
    Have more semi truck training!
    Dropping the speed down is not going to work, without personal responsibility. We are selfish people and it shows in the way we drive.

    • thank you irma one left behind a wife and very small children. they need all the prayers they can get

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