Florida Highway Patrol said five children on their way to Disney World were among those killed in a fiery crash on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, Florida, on Thursday.
The children were traveling in a large passenger van from Louisiana, The Associated Press reported Friday. Two truck drivers were killed and at least eight people were injured.
“Once those semis struck, they both caught fire,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Patrick Riordan said, the AP reported.
The crash caused the highway in the area to be closed in both directions. The northbound side of the highway was opened at 8 p.m. while most of the southbound lanes were closed Friday morning, according to the AP. (RELATED: Tens Of Thousands Demand Disney Remove ‘Hakuna Matata’ Trademark)
“It was so shocking to know that it happened, and then within probably 15 to 20 seconds of it all, it exploded,” said Vinnie DeVita, who was driving at the time. “I mean, just a ball of flames.”
The Alachua County Fire Rescue is asking people to find alternative routes as traffic on I-75 in the affected area is moving at a “snail’s pace,” according to a Facebook message posted Friday.
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