Florida Highway Patrol Releases I-75 Accident Report

by Carmen Dellutri on August 31, 2012

Port Charlotte injury lawyerThe Florida Highway Patrol recently released its own report regarding the cause of the horrific I-75 chain reaction accident that killed 11 and injured 46. The report downplays the actions of the FHP and places much of the blame on the accident victims.

The report, prepared by the FHP and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, concludes that the drivers involved were responsible for their actions by continuing to drive on the smoky roadway. "Despite the presence of Fog/Smoke warning signs, some drivers did not take proper precautions and slow their speeds to prepare for reduced visibility," the report states.

The report also finds that officers acted reasonably when they decided to reopen the highway. "The FHP's review of the events of January 29, 2012, found its members acted reasonably," the report states. "The rapidly changing conditions that morning in such a localized area could not be predicted with any degree of reliability."

The conclusions of the FHP contrast starkly with the report prepared by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which found the FHP shared some responsibility for the deadly accidents. It called for the FHP to revamp training, procedures and guidelines for opening or closing roads and develop better communication channels with the National Weather Service and the Florida Forest Service.

While the FHP has implemented many of the recommendations, it still maintains that accidents would have occurred even if the additional safeguards were in place.

As we discussed last week, the state has already received 13 intent to sue notices from those injured and the families of those killed in the crash. The actions of the FHP and the drivers will likely be pivotal issues in any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits that follow.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Port Charlotte accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Port Charlotte injury attorneys for a free consultation.


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