Deadly Crash That Claimed Cobb County Family Blamed On Authorities
TALLAHASSEE – (WAOK/AJC) – An investigation into a deadly crash along I-75 in Florida, near Gainesville, that killed five members of a Cobb county family, concludes, state troopers may not have known correct procedures in dealing with fog and smoke covered roadways. A report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement says the January 29th pile up, that involved multiple vehicles and killed a dozen people, may have been prevented if the Florida Highway Patrol had used appropriate procedures for such low visibility condtions. The victims included five people in a van returning to Kennesaw, Ga., from an Orlando church retreat: 43-year-old pastor Jose Carmo Jr., his wife, Arianna, 39, and their 17-year-old daughter, Leticia, as well as Carmo’s 38-year-old brother, Edson, and his girlfriend, Roselia DeSilva, 41. The Carmos were originally from Brazil. Another daughter, 15-year-old Lidiane Carmo, survived. The report faulted the Highway Patrol for failing to create and implement effective guidelines for such situations and said troopers failed to adequately share critical information among themselves just before the crashes occurred. It noted, though, that other governmental agencies including the Florida Forest Service and state Department of Transportation supported Lieutenant John Gourley’s decision to reopen the highway, even though visibility was compromised because of a forest fire.