Lawsuits Pending over Deadly Smoke-Related I-75 Crashes
At least 11 lawsuits are pending against the state over the deadly crashes along a smoke-shrouded I-75, along Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, south of Gainesville, last January.
Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Julie Jones mentioned the lawsuits while noting that a report on the series of crashes, resulting in 11 deaths and more than 25 injuries, is due to be released on Friday.
Because of the lawsuits, the report will mostly be left to speak for itself, with the agency only responding to questions that clarify points in the crash investigation result report, Jones added while addressing Gov. Rick Scott and members of the Florida Cabinet at the Capitol on Tuesday.
“We have at least 11 lawsuits at last count,” Jones said. “Because of that, the patrol will not be responding to the media. We’ll let the crash reports and response in the FDLE reports stand on its own.”
Scott called for the state Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the source of a series of fatal crashes.
In April, legislators approved money for message boards near Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park to provide warnings of conditions in the area.