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Amber Alert

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rain Leads To Multiple Crashes Across Central Florida

The rainy weather Thursday morning has already been dangerous on Central Florida roadways. Before 4 a.m, the Florida Highway Patrol told News 13 it had already received eight emergency calls.

A seven-vehicle crash on Interstate 4 near Fairbanks involved a jackknifed tractor-trailer and closed both sides of the interstate early Thursday morning.

The semi was traveling in the westbound lane of I-4 around 1:30 a.m. Thursday when it hydroplaned, went out of control, jackknifed and ran into the center median. The impact of the crash caused several pieces of the concrete wall to fly across the eastbound side of I-4, hitting six cars.

None of the drivers were injured, but all of their cars had to be towed.

The driver of the semi is also uninjured. However, 300 gallons of his load of diesel fuel was spilled in the accident. An environmental assessment agency was called in to take a look at the damage because anytime more than 50 gallons is spilled it is considered an environmental hazard. The agency will return later in the day to take samples of the soil, because of concerns that that fuel could contaminate the groundwater in the area.

Another crash snarled traffic on Interstate 95 this morning in Brevard County, this time in Port St. John.

Authorities said a tractor-trailer crashed into a construction truck. Both drivers were hurt and were hospitalized. The driver of the tractor-trailer is in critical condition. The driver of the construction truck suffered minor injuries.

There was also a serious crash with entrapment on the Turnpike northbound near I-4. It was cleared up by 6:30 a.m., but there were four mile backups.

As the morning continued, so did the accidents. As of 8:30 a.m., two lanes of I-4 were closed westbound near the Central Florida Parkway, one lane was blocked on I-4 between Lee Road and Maitland, there was a blockage on Kirkman Road near I-4 and the Beachline approaching S.R. 436 was experiencing major delays.

A coastal flood watch has been issued for Flagler County. The National Weather Service says the surf will be rough off the coast today. Right now waves are breaking at around 4 to 6 feet. Minor beach erosion and rip currents are possible on Thursday.Source