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Monday, March 04, 2024

Florida Highway Patrol miscommunications led to January I-75 crashes, investigation finds

An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement determined that the Florida Highway Patrol should have communicated more to prevent the deadly Interstate 75 crashes that killed 11 people on Jan. 29.

The report, which was ordered by Gov. Rick Scott and released Thursday, stated the FHP was responsible for reopening the interstate. However, troopers did not have detailed information about the severity of the smoke. The report said the FHP communications center should have passed along this information.

After the interstate was reopened, FHP didn’t dedicate enough resources to keep a close-enough watch on how bad the condition was getting, the report stated.

The report suggests creating a set of mandatory protocols for the FHP in the case of dangerous smoke on roads, which would include specific steps and would require communication between law enforcement offices.

Contact Meredith Rutland at mrutland@alligator.org.

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