GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami/AP) – Five children from Louisiana and two truck drivers were killed in a fiery crash on I-75 just south of Gainesville Thursday afternoon.
The Florida Highway Patrol said a tractor trailer and a car collided in the northbound lanes and went through a guardrail into the southbound lanes. There they struck a church passenger van, carrying the children, and another tractor trailer.
The children, from Avoyelles Parish, were on their way to Walt Disney World.
“Once those semis struck, they both caught fire,” said FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan.
Riordan said a fifth vehicle came through and either struck people who had been ejected from the vehicle or debris. Some 50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled, fueling the fire that also damaged the road in some spots.
At least eight people were sent to the hospital with injuries.
It was the worst accident on I-75 in Alachua County since January 2012, when 11 people died in a chain reaction crash attributed to heavy fog and smoke on the roadway.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)