UPDATE: Southbound I-75 Reopens After 47-Car Crash
Crash injures 52 people, three flown out via Bayflite.
Update Oct. 6 12:03 a.m.:
Southbound Interstate 75 has reopened after being shut down for six hours due to a 47-car crash injuring 52 people Friday afternoon near the Sarasota and Manatee County line.
The Florida Highway Patrol closed southbound Interstate 75 at the 213 mile marker at 3:09 p.m., according to Sgt. Steve Gaskins of Florida Highway Patrol. The interstate reopened at 9:09 p.m.
While rain storms contributed to the crash, charges are pending against several drivers as 12 separate collisions occurred, according to Highway Patrol.
Traffic was re-routed onto University Parkway and detours were set up at SR-70, but traffic was reportedly backed up along U.S. 301 and other alternate routes as people attempted to avoid the mega-crash.
Two of the victims were flown to BayFront Medical Center via Bayflite for non-life-threatening injuries, according to FHP. At one time FHP reported three were flown out, but corrected it to two.
Of the 52 injured, 22 were taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital and 10 were transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital, according to the FHP.
Eighteen units from Sarasota County Fire Department plus units from Manatee County responded to assist. Manatee and Charlotte counties are assisting with additional calls for service while the highway crash is being addressed.
The Red Cross is also responding to assist with rehabilitating firefighters on the scene.
Initial police radio reports say there is a 30-car pile-up on southbound Interstate 75 at University Parkway at 3:25 p.m.
Avoid southbound Interstate 75 and take alternate routes and visit the Commute section on Patch to help plot a route.
Stay with Patch for updates.