FDLE Releases I-75 Traffic Report
Officials say it didn't have to happen, the January 29th massive traffic accident leaving 11 people deceased. A report released Thursday says a Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant opposed re-opening the smoke covered interstate, but was overruled but a higher ranking officer shortly before the series of crashes, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found no criminal violations.
"Its unfortunate that so many deaths so many people lost their lives," Steven Camps Sr, father of a crash victim said.
He's relieved to find out who was at fault for the massive accident.
"I really hope they learn from this mistake and whatever the breakdown and communication was," Camp Sr. said.
This report concluded that FHP is responsible for the decision to reopen the lanes in the early morning hours of January 29th.
"I really hope they correct that, because there are 11 people 11 families who have lost loved ones," Camp said.
Specifically it also revealed that Lieutenant John Gourley made the decision after he thought the conditions would be good for traffic flow, but that was over the objections of one of his sergeants. It also revealed once Gourley, made decision to reopen the lanes, there were not enough resources to monitor the environment.
"We've got to review the report, we've go to digest it and get more information," Courtney Heidelberg, FHP spokesperson said.
FDLE officials say a lack of communication may have contributed to the pile up.
"Everyone on duty that night acted in manner they felt was appropriate," Gretl Plessinger, FDLE spokesperson said.
Camps' son, his car was hit from behind, is now therapy.
"Fortunately he made it through and I refer to him as my miracle child," Camp Sr. said.
And he hopes the family involved in those massive accidents will get relief.
"Just pray for all those families that lost all those loved ones pray for peace for everybody," Camp Sr. said.
The FDLE investigation concluded that FHP did not act with criminal intent when Gourley made the decision to reopen the lanes, but the report revealed several changes need to be made to FHP's protocol and evaluation of the state's roadway and monitoring capabilities.
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