Four Florida State University students from South Florida were among those injured in the horrific I-75 crash south of Gainesville early Sunday that left 11 people dead.
The four, including two sisters from Parkland, were returning to Tallahassee from a Delta Zeta sorority function in Tampa when the chain reaction pile-up began in fog and thick smoke.
Candice Grams, 21, of Boca Raton, was sleeping in the back of the car when the vehicle crashed, according to her father, Irwin Grams.
“She called immediately, about 5 a.m., crying and screaming,” said Grams, a pharmacist. “I thought it was a bomb that went off. She was hysterical.”
Candice Grams was admitted to Shands Hospital in Gainesville and treated for minor injuries, Grams said. She was released later Sunday and has returned to Tallahassee, her father said.
The driver of the car, Jennifer Deutsch, 19, of Parkland, sustained serious injuries, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Also in the 2008 Honda Accord were Deutsch’s sister, Michelle, 21, and Stacey Krasne, 21, also of Parkland. They sustained minor injuries, said FHP.
The Deutsch sisters are the daughters of Coral Springs-based gastroenterologist, Edward Deutsch.
The busy six-lane highway was closed for about three hours earlier Sunday because a mix of fog and smoke from a nearby brush fire made visibility difficult, after a pair of crashes late Saturday on I-75 and nearby U.S. 441. About half an hour after the road re-opened, callers began to report chain-reaction crashes in both the north and southbound lanes.
The crash sent another 18 people to the hospital.
“The Highway Patrol should never have reopened that road,” said Grams. “That was a very bad decision, and they should be held 100 percent responsible.”
Information from CNN and The Associated Press was used in this report.