We’re getting a closer look tonight into the pile up on I-75 that left 11 people dead on Jan. 29.
Dash-cam video recorded from inside a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser was released Wednesday. The recordings show one trooper’s frustration with the decision to reopen I-75 a half hour before the deadly pileup.
In the video, you can see the flames and hear the frustration.
“I tried to tell them leave that son of a buck closed and they wouldn’t listen to me,” FHP Sgt. Bruce Simmons is heard saying on the video.
“Yeah,it’s three cars and a semi,” Simmons says.
In the early morning hours of Jan. 29, a pileup on I-75 near Gainesville killed 11 people.
At midnight before the crash, the interstate was closed after fog and smoke from a nearby wildfire made it nearly impossible to see.
But conditions improved later in the morning, and at 3:30 a.m. troopers reopened I-75.
“I said it’s going to roll in again, leave it closed,” Simmons said from his car at the scene of the crash. “I told the trooper 30, 45 minutes you watch.”
Unfortunately, his predictions were spot on.
According to this report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the pileup began a half hour after I-75 was reopened. The report also says at the time of the wreck visibility had dropped to just three feet.
“I tried to tell them to leave that son of a buck closed. They wouldn’t listen to me,” Simmons is heard saying.
Simmons goes further in expressing his frustration over the decision to reopen the highway.
“Pissed me off,” he says.
NewsChannel 7 asked FHP for an oncamera interview to discuss the video. They declined.