4 people injured in Gainesville crash

A vehicle involved in a five-car accident at the intersection of 34th Street and University Avenue in Gainesville on Sunday is shown. The driver of one of the vehicles is in critical condition at Shands.

(Brad McClenny/Staff photographer)
Published: Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 8:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 8:47 p.m.

Four people were injured, one critically, in a five-vehicle crash that snarled traffic for more than two hours at one of Gainesville's busiest intersections Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

At about 4:30 p.m., a Kia sedan traveling north on Southwest 34th Street ran a red light at Second Avenue, according to a police officer at the scene.

The Kia crashed into the back of a van waiting at a red light at University Avenue, starting a chain reaction of wreckage and flipping onto its roof, according to the officer.

Gainesville firefighters responded and removed the driver from the upside-down vehicle and took him to Shands at the University of Florida, where he was in critical condition, according to a Gainesville Fire Rescue news release.

Three others were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, Gainesville Police spokeswoman Cpl. Angelina Valuri said.

“Only one car that was involved was able to drive away from the scene,” Valuri said.

Traffic was blocked at the intersection for several hours while emergency crews worked the scene.

Police Lt. Jeff Blundell said it wasn't clear how fast the Kia was traveling, but it caused a “significant collision.”

“Hopefully nobody dies as a result of this,” Blundell said.

He noted that the traffic patterns at the intersection make it “a little bit different.''

On northbound 34th Street near University Avenue there are two left-turn lanes, one straight lane, a bicycle lane and a right-turn lane.

Blundell said, however, it didn't appear the intersection's configuration played a role in the crash.

He said there is appropriate signage there and that most locals are aware of what lane they need to be in when approaching the busy intersection.

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