Weather and Careless Driving Contributed To 47 Car Pile Up At Sarasota on I-75

A major auto accident Friday afternoon involving 47 vehicles resulted in I-75 southbound lanes being closed for 6 hours and dozens of people were injured and taken to area hospitals.

Although dozens were injured in the massive pile-up no one was killed in the accident. Florida highway patrol announced that the crash involved 47 vehicles and 52 people injured. Of those injured in the wreck 22 were taken to area hospitals for medical treatment. Two people were with critical injuries and flown to medical centers for serious injuries.

The chain-reaction of crashes began during heavy rain shortly after 3 p.m. on the southbound lanes on I-75 at the University Parkway Overpass. FHP troopers also noted that while the weather was definitely a contributing factor, there will be charges of careless driving filed for some involved.

While as of Saturday morning it still remains unclear of the exact timeline of events, due to the weather, the accident apparently occurred at speeds between 50 – 65 miles per hour – far slower than normal highway traffic.

In addition to passenger vehicles there were also several commercial trucks including two tractor-trailers involved in the crash. Witnesses to the crash said the heavy downpour of rain seemed to come out of nowhere on an otherwise clear afternoon. Medical authorities at the scene told area news reporters that with so many vehicles and people involved and at the speeds of the accident it was miraculous that no one was killed in the crash.

Troopers reported that of the commercial vehicles involved in the crash that none were contained any harmful or toxic substances.

The massive crash drew emergency response crews from multiple agencies in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, with more than 18 units being sent from the Sarasota county fire department alone.

Many of the injured went to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and received treatment for broken bones, lacerations from broken glass and even burns from airbags deployed in the crash.

The scene after the crash was one of complete chaos with broken glass and smashed vehicle parts scattered across the road way, tractor trailer trucks were jack-knifed and smashed, broker cars were scattered haphazardly in all directions leading up to the overpass. Traffic was backed up for many miles and Friday rush-hour traffic was detoured from State Road 70 to Fruitville Rd.

I-75 Overpass at University Parkway

Area news agencies interviewed witnesses involved in the accident and one vicitm had this to say, “In the moment before we crashed I said to my wife, ‘ we are going to crash! the is no way to stop!’ the next thing we knew the airbag was in my face”.

Another witness described the beginning of the accident  “It seemed like forever, all you could hear was crash, crash, crash just none stop. I have never seen anything like that before”

Further details of the accident are pending from the Florida Highway Patrol.

About the Author

Bernie Walsh

Education Bernard F. Walsh graduated from the University of South Florida before receiving his law degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1978. During law school, he was selected to serve as a research clerk and intern for a Federal Judge and the U.S. Attorney's Office. He was awarded The National Book Awards for Constitutional Law and Professional Responsibility during law school. Experience Bernard Walsh devoted the next three years to trial work for the State of Florida. This provided him with the opportunity to concentrate on his trial abilities, with numerous high profile trials concerning serious felony crimes. Since 1982, he has exclusively practiced personal injury law and helped accident victims in and beyond Sarasota and Manatee Counties in Florida. Mr. Walsh has been listed in Avvo, an attorney rating site, as Superb. LexisNexis/Martindale-Hubbell, an attorneys rating publication, has rated Mr. Walsh as very high legal ability and ethical standards. Mr. Walsh is listed in National Trial Lawyers Association as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and was inducted into Southern Trial Lawyers Association. He has also won the largest playground recoveries, one of the top three motorcycle recoveries, and the second largest daycare center recovery in the State of Florida. He is also a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum is a group of attorneys who have achieved career case successes that include multi-million dollar recoveries, settlements and/or verdicts.