VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Interstate-95 (I-95) has reopened more than 24 hours after closing following a series of deadly crashes.
Three people were killed in five separate crashes involving 17-vehicles in Volusia County on Thursday. Crews worked overnight to repair the lanes.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office is calling this a "mass casualty incident." The crashes reportedly happened around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday near the New Smyrna Beach exit.
Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) say there were five separate crashes, four on the northbound side involving 11 vehicles with one person killed. There was one crash on the southbound side that involved six vehicles: four tractor-trailers, an SUV and a van. One truck driver was killed. The driver of the SUV is also dead.
The FHP said the deceased person on the northbound lane has been identified as a 25-year-old woman who was a passenger in a 2022 Nissan four-door vehicle.
The two deceased drivers on southbound lanes have been identified as a 51-year-old man from Hialeah, Florida who was driving a semi-truck, and a 54-year-old man from Titusville, Florida, who was driving a 2017 Jeep Renegade. Their names were not immediately released.
Several were taken to the hospital including a child. FHP said a child is in stable condition.
Asphalt in the area sustained fire and fuel damage from Thursday's incidents. All three lanes of northbound I-95, the outside shoulder, and the off-ramp to State Road (S.R.) 442 were damaged. For southbound I-95, all three lanes and the inside shoulder were damaged.
The FHP says they are looking over dash cam to determine how the chain reaction started, but say visibility due to thick fog and smoke may have played a role. The weather event is known as "super fog."
Video from traffic cameras shows flames from the crashes shooting into the air. FHP says a Jeep Renegade was smashed between semi-trucks.
Lt. Montes says drivers should remember that when thick fog and smoke is present, the best thing to do is activate your hazard lights, turn off your radio and if you feel uncomfortable, pull over.