FHP: Big rig fires not construction related

Posted at 6:14 PM, Mar 03, 2016

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla-- It was mayhem on the highways in Indian River County Wednesday. There were three fiery tractor trailer incidents in less than 24 hours, all within 8 miles of each other.

The time and location the crashes seem to be a sheer coincidence. So far, it appears construction in the area was not a factor according to FHP.

However, fire officials say they have been responding to a lot of these types of incidents recently.

"I have had more fires personally on my shift out here than I can tell you in forever. To have this many fires, it has been crazy," said Battalion Chief David Dangerfield with Indian River County Fire Rescue.

According to an FHP crash data base, there have been around 300 crashes in the last two years along I-95 between State Route 60 and the county line.

There is no way to determine exactly what caused these crashes.

However, the area has been under construction.

The Florida Department of Transportation is widening and resurfacing the road.

"What we really ask is that people slow down and pay attention for the safety of everybody," said Beth Zsoka, a sub-consultant with FDOT. She is the public information officer for this project.

The crashes from Wednesday do not appear to be construction related.

However, FDOT has taken several steps in the last three months to make the area safer.

They've reduced the speed limit from 70 mph to 60 mph.

They've added more troopers in the area and more signage.

"We have put in a lot of enhancements. We have seen positive results from those enhancements. We will continue to monitor the area."