Last Updated: November 9th, 2018 at 6:18 pm
Read Time: 4 Minutes
The state of Florida is no stranger to bad accidents - in fact, Florida has been ranked as the number one state for terrible drivers and the second-worst state in the U.S. for distracted drivers. Bearing that in mind, it's not hard to believe that some of the worst accident pileups occurred in the Sunshine State.
For the five worst accident pileups in Florida history, keep on reading.
5. 8 Car Pileup on Miami Turnpike
This eight-car pileup occurred just two weeks into 2018. On the afternoon of January 14, traffic came to a stand-still on the Florida Turnpike in Miami-Dade County. Though it's still unclear exactly what caused the accident, we do know that only passenger vehicles were involved.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene, located at SW 288 Street, and immediately worked to free a victim who was trapped inside of their vehicle. Upon extraction from the wreckage, the individual was transported to a nearby trauma center. Five other victims were treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital. In total, the pileup resulted in six injured.
4. 16 Car Pileup on I-17
2012's 16-car pileup resulted in a mile stretch of Interstate 17 near Gainesville covered in wreckage. Beginning as early as 3:45 a.m. on January 29, disaster struck when darkness, heavy smoke, and dense fog combined to completely obliterate any visibility on the road.
Wildfires at the nearby Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park mixed with an incoming wave of fog, creating what was described as a blinding wall of smoke. At least six tractor-trailers and 10 cars were involved, leaving several vehicles charred and crumpled. In one case, a pickup truck flipped onto the hood of a car and the two vehicles crashed into the back of a FedEx trailer.
January 29's series of multi-car accidents killed 10 and injured 18.
3. 22 Car Pileup on I-95
On September 5, 2017, vehicles were stopped on the southbound lanes of Interstate-95 in Nassau County, just north of Jacksonville. Earlier in the night a two-car collision caused Florida Highway Patrol to close several lanes to properly handle the scene.
While most of traffic stood still, an approaching tractor-trailer failed to stop and crashed into the back of another car. The crash caused a domino effect, ultimately resulting in a 22-car pileup.
Initially beginning as just a two-car crash, the secondary accident killed one person and sent 13 others to a nearby hospital. Southbound lanes on I-95 remained close for several hours.
2. 27 Car Pileup on Alligator Alley
Police referred to the pileup that took place on January 26, 2002 as one of the worst that occurred on Interstate-75. The accident occurred near Naples on Alligator Alley, the major east-west thoroughfare in South Florida. Thick fog obstructed the vision of drivers, resulting in a 27 car pileup.
A car carrier heading west initiated the chain reaction when it struck both a car and a pickup, pushing the pickup into the eastbound lane. This caused six separate accidents on both sides on the road, resulting in a pile of vehicles spanning over a half-mile. Of the vehicles involved in the wreckage, 16 were tractor-trailers.
Three were killed and 13 were injured as a result of the crash.
1. 70 Car Pileup on I-4
The number one worst car accident pileup in Florida history is also one of the worst in U.S. history. Eerily enough, the circumstances involved are very similar to the pileup that occurred in 2012. However, this 70-car crash was far worse.
On January 9, 2008, cars that were traveling along Interstate-4 between Tampa and Orlando were blanketed by a dense layer of fog and smoke. A nearby brush fire erupted into a canopy of smoke that lingered over the landscape for miles. With the road covered in darkness, tractor-trailers and a tanker overturned, with six of them burning completely. Passenger cars crashed into one another, with many pinned below larger vehicles.
In total, four individuals were killed as result of the crash and 38 were injured, five severely.