3 dead in multiple crashes involving 17 vehicles amid fog, smoke on I-95 in Volusia County

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Fog and smoke lead to multiple crashes on I-75 in Volusia County and multiple fatalities. (Credi: FDOT Camera)

At least three people were killed in a series of crashes early Thursday along a stretch of Interstate 95 where visibility was very low due to fog combined with smoke from prescribed burns of vegetation, officials said.

The crashes began around 1:30 a.m. south of Daytona Beach, according to Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Montes. She said there were four separate crashes on the northbound side and one heading southbound.

“Fog and smoke were in the area at the time,” Montes told The Associated Press. The smoke was lingering from prescribed burns in the area, and the National Weather Service had warned on Twitter of very low visibility, issuing a dense fog advisory for coastal Volusia County near Edgewater.

For drivers traveling along the interstate at highway speeds, such conditions can be disorienting.

“It’s totally fine and then you run into a wall of that smog. You get an incredibly sharp drop in visibility,” WFTV meteorologist Brian Shields said.

Two of the dead were traveling south, while the other person died in a northbound crash, Montes said. A child who was airlifted to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children was in stable condition, and multiple people were taken to a Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

Montes said investigators haven’t confirmed the total number of vehicles involved. The highway remained closed at 7 a.m. Thursday and motorists were being rerouted to U.S. 1.

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