One Year Since I-75 Disaster
Not much has changed at the spot on the highway.
The same spot which changed so many lives one year ago.
Last January 29th, a pile-up on I- 75 killed 11 people and left almost two dozen people with injuries.
That horrible day ultimately forced the state to make some safety changes, including new training for procedures during bad road conditions.
But those changes come too late for those traveling through Alachua County one year ago this morning.
It's been one year since the deadly wreck on interstate 75.
911 caller said, "here comes another one. he's coming too fast. yea there you go."
Soon after, six crashes occurred on both the north and south bound lanes.
A total of 24 vehicles were involved including four semi trucks.
911 caller said, "we can't see. we can not see, it's like impossible to see."
Some vehicles came to a complete stop on the interstate, causing others to smash right into them.
Lieutenant J.J. Moran with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office was one of the first responders.
He said, "you could hear people moaning for help and you could smell the smoke of the cars burning."
Deputies paired up and went car to car looking for survivors and providing first aid.
11 people died and more than 20 suffered injuries.
22 year old Vontavia Robinson of Williston died in the crash when his 2004 pontiac grand prix crashed into a car.
His mother declined an on camera interview.
27-year old Christie Nguyen was on her way back from a trip down south, when her life was cut short.
Nguyen left behind her five year old son named Drew.
Nguyen's attorney Daniel Glassman said, "it's very hard for someone that age to understand. at first he kept saying when's mommy coming home, when's mommy coming home. the reality that mommy is never coming home is very hard especially for a child. "
Nguyens parents hired attorney Daniel Glassman.
He has not filed a lawsuit against the Florida Highway Patrol, but has sent a notice of intent to file.
Glassman tells me why the family made the decision to hire an attorney.
Glassman said, "One to make sure this never happens to another family again. secondly, is to protect drew and make sure he is provided with resources because of the loss of his mother had been stolen away from him."
Since the I-75 crashes, FHP has received 26 letters of intent to sue.
After the Florida Department of law enforcement wrapped up their investigation, it revealed that FHP did not follow certain procedures.
The Florida Forest Service was not notified of the smoke or fog incident, a spot weather check from the National Weather service was not obtained and the evaluation of their visibility occurrence risk index level was not completed.
Glassman later said, "all anybody is asking is for the state of florida to come by and say yes we bare some responsibility and let's see what we can do to make it better."
FHP officials did not want to go on camera because of the impending lawsuits.
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