Dozens injured in I-75 pileup - FOX 13 News

Dozens injured in I-75 pileup

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SARASOTA (FOX 13) -

The accident happened at about 3:09 p.m. Friday afternoon.

But the numbers don't stop there.

At least 47 vehicles were involved in at least 12 crashes that led to 52 people treated at the scene. Two had to be flown by helicopter to the hospital

Make no mistake about it, the chain reaction crash that brought traffic to a standstill on I-75 South near the Manatee Sarasota county line was huge.

Luckily no one was killed.

Bob Sipkema says he believes a higher power kept everyone alive.

"I heard the crashes behind me and I looked back and all I saw was vehicles crashing and flying up in the air," said Sipkema.

He says he and his wife Mary were driving in their pickup truck on I-75 south on the University Parkway overpass when two cars sandwiched them.

"I hollered to Mary, I said we're going to crash and so she protected herself and last I know the air bag hit me in the face," said Sipkema.

They escaped serious injury.

While the accident was in the southbound lanes, I-75 northbound was backed up for miles as people slowed down to get a glimpse of the wreckage.

Florida Highway Patrol officials say they believe weather was to blame, they say it was pouring in the area when the whole thing went down.

"The car pretty much hydroplaned, I had nothing to do about it," said Josh Hobbs.

Hobbs' car was totaled as a result of the crash, he says he had no control at impact.

"There was just a wall of stopped cars and I did as much as I could to avoid it," said Hobbs. "I had no choice I had to just hit a car, I couldn't do anything about it."

Betsy Coville was on her way to the dog park with her puppy "Camo"

She says out of nowhere, it was pure chaos.

"Two little cars were spinning out, all you could do is brace and slam the car in front of you then you got slammed and slammed and slammed," said Coville.

There was a storm in the area at the time of the crash, which troopers say may have played a role.

FOX 13's Paul Dellegatto says drivers in the area were hit with a "wall of water."

"They got nailed with a very heavy tropical downpour," Dellegatto said. "People who were driving into that area had decent visibility for a time, then they literally hit a wall of water."

 

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