Timeline of events in the I-75 crashes


Smoke from burning trailers at the scene of a multi-vehicle wreck on Interstate 75 at Paynes Prairie on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, south of Gainesville, Fla.

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 9:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 9:51 p.m.

Calls to the Alachua County Combined Communication Center about the first Interstate 75 incidents:

Saturday

11:53:26 p.m. - Caller reports heavy smoke near southbound mile marker 381 (middle of Paynes Prairie)

11:53:41 - Caller can hear accidents

11:53:58 - Caller sees accidents in the northbound lanes

11:53:14 - Caller says traffic is stopped on the interstate

11:54:59 - Dispatcher calls FHP to report the situation

11:55:04 - Caller hears vehicles hitting each other all around her

11:56:44 - Someone is stuck in a Lexus

11:57:03 - Accidents turned over to FHP

11:57:04 - Citizen reports being hit twice by a semi truck

Sunday

12:03:19 - Ambulance crew reports heavy smoke and visibility of 20 yards

12:03:49 - District fire chief asks for FHP and the Department of Transportation to be contacted about shutting down the freeway until the smoke clears

12:06:40 - Ambulance crew estimates 10 vehicles involved in crash

12:08:28 - Deputy blocks southbound traffic at rest area

12:08:59 - Deputy heads toward Micanopy to try to stop northbound traffic

12:45:38 - FHP directs the interstate to remain closed

12:50:42 - FHP trooper at the southbound rest area allows motorists onto southbound lanes

1:19:30 - Deputy reports zero visibility in northbound lanes

1:30:12 - Deputy notices smoke in northbound lanes thickening

1:34:12 - Deputies ask whether smoke is headed north or south because it appears lanes near the rest area have cleared

1:42:55 - Deputy notices a clearing about 200 yards near rest area, then a lot of smoke

3:21:26 - Deputy tells dispatch FHP is about to open all lanes

3:21:45 - Department of Transportation shuts down northbound lanes

Calls to the Alachua County Combined Communication Center about the second Interstate 75 incidents:

Sunday

4:00:32 a.m. - First call about a fire at southbound mile marker 379 (south end of Paynes Prairie)

4:00:46 - Caller reports two tractor trailers are involved

4:01:13 - FHP notified

4:01:59 - Caller reports all lanes blocked and SUV is in the middle

4:09:39 - Additional rescue units dispatched

4:09:54 - Deputy reports a semi rolled over

4:10:57 - Semi driver says he is hauling hazardous materials, flammable liquids, methanol and corrosives

4:11:46 - Deputy reports zero visibility but can see hazard lights

4:14:37 - Deputy sees fire in both northbound and southbound lanes

4:14:57 - Marion County asked to provide help through mutual aid agreement

4:15:51 - Deputy trying to shut down highway

4:17:03 - Deputy reports a semi appears to be on fire along with three cars

4:19:58 - Caller reports another northbound crash

4:20:28 - Fire engineer reaches one tractor trailer and is continuing to search for vehicles on fire

4:24:26 - Commanders at the scene hearing explosions in front of them and are still trying to find the sources of the noise

4:28:54 - Deputy reports that an ambulance and fire engine cannot see to get through the fog and smoke

4:30:08 - Commander reports being so close he can feel the heat but cannot see what is on fire

4:34:55 - Deputy reports another car on fire.

4:4847 - Deputy reports there are at least eight or nine patients

4:57:42 - Alachua County deputies ordered to team up so no one is alone

5:07:39 - Ambulance being walked in by deputies

5:36:06 - Commander determines fire starting to rebuild; additional resources requested

5:36:20 - Deputy requests a vehicle to keep the walking injured warm

6:21:10 - Department of Transportation advises they are not able to provide detour signs because they did not have enough manpower

6:33:22 - Commander directs deputies to gather people to get them off the roadway

7:26:53 - All Marion County units released

7:44:17 - Fire units released until FHP needs help with extrication

10:19:57 - Freeway reopened

12:27:33 p.m. - Charge nurse at North Florida Regional Medical Center says all three patients sent there have been released

Calls to the Alachua County Combined Communication Center about the U.S. 441 incidents:

Saturday

11:31:44 p.m. - Caller reports a four-vehicle crash

11:32:50 - 911 call taker can hear accidents happening over the phone

11:32:55 - Caller reports another vehicle has been hit

11:33:30 - FHP notified about the wrecks

11:35:44 - Marion County deputies trying to stop southbound lanes

11:37:42 - Deputy reports it is difficult to see other units

11:38:47 - Deputy reports seven vehicles involved

11:39:16 - Deputy requests units to help with northbound traffic

11:46:46 - Department of Transportation tells dispatcher that the signs they have out is all they can do and more signs will not help

Sunday

12:07:48 a.m. - Shands notified to expect multiple patients

1:06:33 - Deputy reports zero visibility in area south of rest area

4:28:06 - Caller reports crash involving a tour bus, U-Haul trailer and van

8:13:59 - Report of a tanker truck that overturned with a diesel fuel possibly leaking into Paynes Prairie

10:13:30 - U.S. 441 reopened to traffic

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