Florida’s Top 5 Pile-up Crashes Since 2000
Florida has earned the reputation for being notorious for bad drivers — ranking next-to-worst in the U.S. for distracted drivers. In fact, some of the worst car accidents of all time have occurred in the Sunshine State. Here are the 5 worst since 2000.
#5 8 Car Pileup On The Florida Turnpike
A nasty eight-car pileup occurred just two weeks into 2018. On January 14, traffic came to a complete stop on the Florida Turnpike in Miami-Dade County. Officials never identified the exact cause of the pileup, only passenger vehicles were involved.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene, located at SW 288 Street, and immediately worked to free a victim who was trapped inside of their vehicle. Upon extraction from the wreckage, the individual was transported to a nearby trauma center. Five other victims were treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital. In total, the pileup resulted in six injured.
#4 16 Car Pileup On I-17
In 2012, a 16-car accident left a mile stretch of Interstate 17 near Gainesville covered in wreckage. At 3:45 a.m. on January 29, disaster struck when darkness, heavy smoke, and dense fog combined to completely obliterate any visibility on the road.
Wildfires at the nearby Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park mixed with an incoming wave of fog, creating what was described as a blinding wall of smoke. At least six tractor-trailers and 10 cars were involved, leaving several vehicles charred and crumpled. In one case, a pickup truck flipped onto the hood of a car and the two vehicles crashed into the back of a FedEx trailer.
January 29’s series of multi-car accidents killed 10 and injured 18.
#3 22 Car Pileup On I-95
I-95 is a heavily traveled highway that runs the length of Florida — that means lots of accidents. On September 5, 2017, vehicles were stopped on the southbound lanes of Interstate-95 in Nassau County, just north of Jacksonville. Earlier in the night a two-car collision caused Florida Highway Patrol to close several lanes to properly handle the scene.
While most of the traffic stood still, an approaching tractor-trailer failed to stop and crashed into the back of another car. The crash caused a domino effect, ultimately resulting in a 22-car pileup.
Initially beginning as just a two-car crash, the secondary accident killed one person and sent 13 others to a nearby hospital. Southbound lanes on I-95 remained close for several hours.
#2 27 Car Pileup On Alligator Alley
On January 26, 2002 one of the worst pileups ever seen on Florida roadways occurred on Interstate-75 near Naples on Alligator Alley — the major east-west thoroughfare in South Florida. Thick fog obstructed the vision of drivers, resulting in a 27 car pileup.
A car carrier heading west initiated the chain reaction when it struck both a car and a pickup, pushing the pickup into the eastbound lane. This caused six separate accidents on both sides on the road, resulting in a pile of vehicles spanning over a half-mile. Of the vehicles involved in the wreckage, 16 were tractor-trailers.
Three were killed and 13 were injured as a result of the crash.
#1 70 Car Pileup On I-4
Not only is this pileup the worst in Florida history, it’s also one of the worst in U.S. history. Eerily enough, the circumstances involved are very similar to the pileup that occurred in 2012. However, this 70-car crash was far worse.
On January 9, 2008, cars that were traveling along Interstate-4 between Tampa and Orlando were blanketed by a dense layer of fog and smoke. A nearby brush fire erupted into a canopy of smoke that lingered over the landscape for miles. With the road covered in darkness, tractor-trailers and a tanker overturned, with six of them burning completely. Passenger cars crashed into one another, with many pinned below larger vehicles.
In total, four individuals were killed as a result of the crash and 38 were injured, five severely.