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Teen recovering after family dies in I-75 wreck

The massive pileup on Interstate 75 recently left 11 people dead. One 15-year-old girl who was a passenger involved in the chain reaction car accident was taken to Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in critical condition. She is now recovering from her injuries, which included two broken ribs, a broken arm and internal bleeding.

At the time of the crash, she and her family were going back to their home in Georgia from a church conference they had attended in Orlando. The crash occurred in conditions of dense fog and smoke, lowering visibility on the highway. A number of vehicles plowed into each other, and subsequent crashes kept happening, with vehicles piling up. It was a horrific scene that made national headlines. The road had been closed due to poor visibility prior to the crash, but was re-opened shortly before the accident. Now, people want to know why.

The teen lost her 43-year-old father, her 39-year-old mother, her teenage sister, her uncle and her uncle’s girlfriend. She is expected to be released from the hospital in three weeks or so. Despite the tragic circumstances, her church pastor says that she managed to laugh in a recent telephone conversation, which he took as an encouraging sign.

The girl’s family will be flown back to their native Brazil for burial. Fellow church members were working to raise money for funeral costs.

Expressing concern over the loss of life and serious injuries taking place in the massive string of car crashes, Florida’s governor has asked the state Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident.

Source: WESH, “Teen loses family in deadly I-75 pileup,” Jan. 31, 2012

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