Florida Highway Patrol: I-95 reopened near Edgewater with 3 dead in multiple crashes involving 17 vehicles due to dense fog and smoke from a controlled burn

Photos for Headline Surfer / ABOVE: Florida DOT screenshot shows flames on I-95 near Edgewater Thursday at 1:30 a.m. A Florida Highway Patrol vehicle is barely visible from behind with dense fog and thick black smoke from an earlier controlled burn. BELOW: Carnage with eruption of fire as shown with this burning tractor-trailer. Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes is shown as a chasrred tractor-trailer early Friday morning after I-95 was fully reopened in both directions.

By HENRY FREDERICK / Headline Surfer

EDGEWATER, Fla. – Dense fog and thick black smoke from controlled combustion were the primary causes of a horrific series of crashes Thursday night on both sides of I-95 between Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach, killing three and injuring many, Florida Highway Patrol says.

Northbound and southbound I-95s finally reopened just before 5 a.m. this Friday morning after a nearly day-long closure in both directions as crews worked to repair road surfaces.

There were three dead and several injured in five crashes involving 17 vehicles resulting from Thursday’s carnage at 1:30 a.m. which took more than 28 hours to fully clean up and allow two-way traffic to flow freely again.

There was one southbound crash involving six vehicles and four separate northbound crashes involving 11 vehicles. The crashes included semi-trucks, at least two of which caught fire and burned.

There were three fatalities at the scene of the crashes, according to FHP.

Two people died on the south side of I-95 and one person was killed on the north side. Several people, including children, were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. A child was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital and reported

Among the dead, according to FHP:

• A 51-year-old man from Hialeah (semi-trailer driver);

• A 54-year-old man driving a 2017 Jeep Renegade;

• A 25-year-old female passenger in a 2022 Nissan 4-Door.

“We got to the road, everything was white – we couldn’t see anything,” truck driver John Johnson told WESH Ch. 2 Claire Metz, adding that he was driving north when the fog set in. He therefore immediately parked in the recovery lane and turned on his hazard warning lights.

WESH’s First Warning Weather meteorologist Kellianne Klass reported that there was a “super fog” weather event at the time of the crash. And FHP added that there was “no visibility”. the combination of dense fog and thick black smoke from an earlier controlled burn that contributed to the multiple wrecks.

“We know that was a cause of the crash this morning, but we also need to look at driver responsibility and error,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes told Headline Surfer and others. media.

“We know that was a cause of the crash this morning, but we also need to look at driver responsibility and error,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes told Headline Surfer and others. media.

FHP Kim Montes / Headline Surfer“We know that was a cause of the crash this morning, but we also need to look at driver responsibility and error,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes told Headline Surfer and others. media.

Along southbound I-95, all three lanes and the inside shoulder were damaged, following a fire and a fuel leak, the Florida Department of Transportation said. delayed the reopening of this section of the highway for emergency road surface repairs.

Troopers reopened the southbound entrance ramp from SR-442 to southbound I-95 around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Shortly thereafter, northbound I-95 traffic was redirected to CR-5A and reentered northbound I-95 at SR-442. Southbound I-95 traffic was rerouted to SR-44.

And before dawn this morning, both sides of Interstate 95 were flowing uninterrupted again after road repairs ended overnight.

Biography of Henry Frederick / Headline Surfer

About the author of the signature: Henry Frederick is a working press member and publisher of Headline Surfer, the award-winning 24/7 Internet media outlet launched in 2008, serving the greater Daytona Beach, Sanford and Orlando area from Lake Mary, Florida via HeadlineSurfer.com. Frederick has amassed nearly 150 award-winning signatures in print and online. He earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in 2019. He was a breaking news reporter (subway cops and courts) for the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade. And before that, the same beat worked for The Journal-News/Gannett Suburban Newspapers in Rockland/Westchester Counties, NY, dating back to 1989. Having witnessed the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the bedroom of the death from Florida and covering other high-profile cases, Frederick appeared on national crime documentary shows on Discovery ID, Reelz and the Oxygen Network series “Snapped” for his analysis. • Award-Winning Journalism: The Florida Press Club recognizes Headline Surfer for nine articles in the 2020 statewide contest. • Award-winning journalism by Henry Frederick.

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