SARASOTA, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol has a message for drivers, after a massive pile-up on I-75 Friday afternoon, in Sarasota.
State troopers continue to investigate twelve different accidents from the crash, and they say weather was a factor.
Ann Frenzel just missed the crash. She said, "It was pouring down rain and all of the sudden, I saw this car's back end go up and the brakes started going on and I slammed on my brakes and slid along the way."
Jim Foster says weather conditions made it hard to see. Foster said, "It was a big downpour that came in. Just as it hit."
Phil Marquis agrees saying there was bad visibility. Marquis said, "The weather was terrible. We couldn't see anything. It was right in the midst of really hard rain."
In all, troopers say 47 vehicles were involved and 22 people were sent to the hospital. 2 were listed in critical condition, but no one was killed.
State troopers say afternoon storms did contribute to the crashes. Kenn Watson worked the crash. Watson said, "When we have inclement weather and it's pouring down rain, just because the speed limit on the interstate is 70 does not always mean you have to travel at 70 miles an hour."
FHP gave ABC Action News links to several road weather management websites. They include safety advice. While it may seem like common sense, these 4 suggestions could keep you safe.
Slow down, buckle up, and pay attention to your surroundings. There could be traffic light out. Also be patient. Troopers say it might be wise to pull over until bad weather passes.
If you would like more information, you can visit the following websites:
We also reached out to Rachel Keller, a forensic engineer from an independent company in the Tampa Bay area. She tells us analyzing a crash of this magnitude could take more than a year to complete. Keller said, "which vehicles hit other vehicles? How are they interacting with those vehicles. So it can be pretty complex. And then the environment. Weather conditions. How the roadway is."
State troopers tell us charges are pending in the case.
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