A tangled mess of six multi-vehicle accidents on I-10 this morning ended with at least 10 people injured, six of them seriously enough to be hospitalized. A total of 11 vehicles and 18 people were involved in the series of car accidents, which the Florida Highway Patrol says were caused by simple carelessness.
Five drivers were ticketed for careless driving after rear-ending other cars that had slowed down after the initial accident, which occurred at around 8:10 a.m. near the westbound I-10 exit to State Road 87 in Santa Rosa County.
“The people in front of me slammed on the brakes, and I saw I wasn’t going to be able to stop. I tried to swerve into the median, but I didn’t have enough time,” said one of the drivers, a University of West Florida student. “‘Dang it’ was the last thing I thought before I crashed.”
Initial Car Accident Was Caused by a Tire Blowout
According to witnesses, the driver of a Ford pickup lost control of her vehicle after a tire blowout. The truck rolled three times and landed in the trees along the side of the highway, but luckily, the driver suffered only minor injuries.
The other car crashes were all closely related to the first one, according to the FHP. Drivers were either following too closely or were distracted by the spectacle of the first wreck. The series of collisions went on for nearly an hour — until about 9:55 a.m.
- The second accident was a rear-end collision resulting in minor injuries to the 40-year-old driver of the rear car. She was ticketed for careless driving. The occupants of the other vehicle were not injured.
- The third wreck happened moments later, resulting in minor injuries to both drivers and three passengers. The driver in the rear car was ticketed.
- The driver who caused the fourth rear-end collision suffered serious injuries and was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital. She was also cited for careless driving. The driver of the forward car was also injured and was taken to Baptist Hospital.
- Around 9:40 a.m., another car accident occurred about a mile west of the first group of accidents. Neither driver was injured, but two passengers in the forward vehicle were hurt, one of them seriously. The victims were taken to West Florida Hospital, and the rear-end driver was ticketed.
- The final car accident happened at about 9:55. Neither driver was injured, although a passenger in the forward car reported neck pain. The driver who caused the rear-end collision was also cited for careless driving.”I remember a real hard hit. We jerked forward then back,” said the passenger. “My neck hurts, but I know it’ll go away. It could have been a lot worse.”
The series of car accidents snarled traffic for about two miles during rush hour.
Source: Pensacola News Journal, “11 cars involved in I-10 wrecks,” Sean Dugas, November 9, 2010