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Florida Highway Patrol: Driver Error, Rain Caused 53-Car Pile-Up

Florida Highway Patrol released its findings for the Oct. 5 mega crash on Interstate 75 at the Manatee-Sarasota County line that sent two dozen people to the hospital.

Florida Highway Patrol investigators on Thursday officially ruled that driver error and a sudden rain storm contributed to a 53-car crash Oct. 5 on Interstate 75.

FHP issued 19 traffic citations for the 53-vehicle pile-up that included 21 separate crashes. Nobody was killed in the crash, but 52 people were injured, 22 were sent to area hospitals and two were flown by helicopter from the scene for their injuries, according to Highway Patrol.

The crash, which occurred near the University Parkway exit, closed I-75 for six hours. Highway Patrol said driver error was chiefly to blame for the crash and that the inclement weather contributed to the crash.

While there were no fatalities from the Oct. 5 crash, the Sunshine State has the second most weather-related traffic fatalities in the U.S. with 1,403 from 2000 through 2007, according to Highway Patrol.

Drivers are reminded that they should slow down and adjust for speed during adverse weather conditions rather than travel at the posted speed limit.

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