The Alachua County Sheriff's Office has released a recording of a 911 call from a motorist involved in Sunday morning multi-vehicle pileup on Interstate 75 outside of Gainesville.
The call is mild at first and then is punctuated with the sounds of crashes as more and more cars collide in the dense smoke and fog that permeated the highway.
A woman called 911 after her car slammed into a guardrail. When asked the mile marker at her location, the caller replied, "I can't see anything, it's so dense, the fog is so dense. We just hit a guardrail and I think there was another accident behind us and I heard it."
911 OPERATOR: Are you northbound or southbound.
CALLER: We are going southbound on 75. ... Oh my gosh, it's so dark here.
911 OPERATOR: Give me just one second, hold on. What is the city that you are nearest? Have you seen any signs recently?
CALLER: [off] Are we near Gainesville? [to operator] We just passed Gainesville University. . . . There's lot of smoke and fog. There's a lot of fog.
911 OPERATOR: Are there any injuries in your vehicle?
CALLER: No, no thank God. But I think I heard another crash back there.
911 OPERATOR: You heard another crash?
CALLER: I saw but I'm not sure.
. . .
911 OPERATOR: You just hit the guardrail or was there another vehicle involved?
CALLER: No, we hit the guardrail.
911 OPERATOR: OK. And you said you are out of the road as much as you can be?
911 OPERATOR: Somebody's stopped with you? That's good. Just stay inside your vehicle until law enforcement gets out there though. Do you smell any smoke?
CALLER: Yes, I smell smoke. Smoke from something burning.
911 OPERATOR: OK. So no hazards, no leaking fluids or hazmat?
CALLER: No, There's somebody else here that stopped with us though.
911 OPERATOR: OK Hold on just one second. We are getting help out there to you.
The phone is passed to another woman, who describes the exit signs they'd passed.911 OPERATOR: OK, and so there are no injuries inside your vehicle?
CALLER: No there's no injuries, we definitely will need a tow truck.
911 OPERATOR: No that's fine, we can sort that out later. I'm going to stay on the line with you until the unit finds you just because it is very hazy.
CALLER: It's really bad out here. People are just stopping.
911 OPERATOR: OK, if you were going southbound were you on the left side or the right side of the road?
CALLER: I've pulled the car all the way over to the right side onto the grass.
911 OPERATOR: Hold on just one second. You said the right side?
911 OPERATOR: I'm going to have to let you go, we have a lot of lines ringing right now but we do have help going out-
A CRASH IS HEARD.CALLER: Oh [EXPLETIVE]! Another accident. Oh my God!
911 OPERATOR: What just happened? Tell me what happened.
CALLER: Another accident, another accident going northbound.
911 OPERATOR: OK.
CALLER: Yeah. Oh my goodness. And that was a truck!
911 OPERATOR: And what kind of truck, like a semi?
CALLER: You can't see. You cannot see. It's like impossible to see. The haze is, like the smoke is very thick, you can hardly see holding your hand in front. I do hear an ambulance or police officer coming down the road.
911 OPERATOR: OK just one second. Hold on just one second. Stay on the line, don't hang up.
The caller then talks to another person at the scene ... and then ANOTHER CRASH is heard.CALLER: Oh [Expletive]! Oh my God! What is going on?
911 OPERATOR: OK, we are getting help out there, OK?
CALLER: Oh my goodness!
911 OPERATOR: How many vehicles have been involved that you've seen so far?
CALLER: We cannot seem ma'am. We cannot see. This is the third one now already.
911 OPERATOR: All right, I want you, if you are able to, turn on your emergency flashers, get out of your vehicle and step as far away from traffic as -
CALLER: We are, we are ma'am. We are far away as we can be!
911 OPERATOR: All right, you've done really good. OK, it's OK, take a deep breath.
The caller repeats instructions to other drivers to pull over their cars, put on their flashers, and exit the vehicles. The 911 Operator begins asking medical questions.CALLER: Oh oh, oh oh, another one! That's four!
911 OPERATOR: That's four vehicles involved?
CALLER: Yes. Four vehicles, one coming southbound.
911 OPERATOR: About how many people - I'm sorry, are you with the patients right now?
CALLER: No ma'am, we are too far. There's no way we can see!
911 Operator: And about how many people are hurt?
CALLER: Hold on, hold one, we're hearing another one.... He's stopped in time.
The caller describes what she thinks are the vehicle involved when another CRASH is heard.
CALLER: Oh my God! Another one. Damn it, this is bad.
Later more CRASHES and shouts are heard.911 OPERATOR: Was that another one?
CALLER: Yes ma'am.
911 OPERATOR: All right, how many vehicles now?
911 OPERATOR: OK. Do you see any fire? Do you see anything like that?
CALLER: No fire we can see.
911 OPERATOR: OK.
CALLER: You can hardly even see your hazards. Here comes another one, he's coming too fast. Here comes another one.
Another CRASH is heard.CALLER: Oh yep, see? There he goes! Oh [Expletive]! That one is a bad one!
911 OPERATOR: OK, you're doing good, just keep yourself out of traffic, OK? Try to direct people out of the road if you can but I want you to keep yourself safe, that's the most important thing, OK? You're doing such a good job, just stay with me, OK? I know this is very traumatic, I need you to keep calm for me. OK, Ma'am, I'm sending the paramedics and the police to help you.
CALLER: Please yes. Oh wow.
911 OPERATOR: They should already be there. We're sends lots more. So we're sending lots and lots of paramedics.
The operator gives further instructions, as the caller reports hearing cries from the other side of the highway. The caller begins to break down crying.