FEMORS Responds

FEMORS response to Interstate 75 crash

FEMORS and Medical Examiner staff staging area on I-75

At approximately 4:00 am, Sunday, January 29, 2012, Interstate 75 along Paynes Prairie (immediately south of Gainesville, Florida) heavy fog and smoke blowing to the west from a fire on the east side of Paynes Prairie State Park, along State Route 441, was the contributing factor in two major traffic crashes occurred within minutes of each other due to vehicles stopping on the roadway in both the north and southbound travel lanes.  The northbound lanes crash (designated as Scene #1) resulted in 7 deaths, while the southbound lane crash (designated Scene #2) resulted in 4 deaths.

At 6:30am, Chief Medical Examiner, Florida Medical Examiner District Eight, requested FEMORS support for fatality management.  The State Emergency Operations Center activated FEMORS for on-site response and assistance at 7:25am.  FEMORS Assessment Team Members were on-site at the Office of the Medical Examiner by 8:00am, and on scene by 8:45am.  FEMORS provided administrative assistance as well as on-scene support, and at a separate location established a Family Assistance Center.  FEMORS also provide scientific support by deploying forensic odnotologists and anthropologists.  In total, sixteen FEMORS members deloyed to provide assistance to the Office of the Medical Examiner and victim families during the four days subsequent to the accident.