Two people from California killed in a wreck at an I-75 rest area in Gainesville
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The accident happened around 2:00 p.m. when a Tesla driving into the rest area on I-75 near Paynes Prairie crashed into a Walmart tractor-trailer.
Florida Highway Patrol Troopers say a Tesla entered the southbound rest area and ran into the back of a parked semi-truck. The 66-year-old woman driving the car and the 67-year-old man in the passenger seat were killed.
Both victims were from Lompoc, Calif. Troopers don’t know why the vehicle ran into the back of the parked trailer.
“It came off the exit ramp to the rest area, continued south for a short period, and turned into an easterly direction and that’s at what time we had the collision where the Tesla struck the rear of the tractor-trailer,” said Lt. Patrick Riordan, Florida Highway Patrol public information officer.
The wreck shut down the area for more than six hours.
A family traveling to Georgia for a baseball tournament saw the wreck from the rest area across the interstate.
“Considering it might have been self-driving that’s very dangerous, it’s very tragic with the deaths,” said Lucas Rosado.
Rosado added he is praying for the victims and their families.
“You have to be very careful driving cause on your sides it’s very dangerous and it’s very sad for them so I’m praying for them.”
Troopers said although accidents in rest areas are rare, they still happen.
“The rest area is the extension of the roadway so it’s not something that we’ve never seen before, it happens, fortunately not very often,” said Riordan.
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