Four-vehicle crash shuts down I-75 for nearly 4 hours

Ocala, Florida — A four-vehicle accident involving three semis and a mini-van left lumber scattered across Interstate 75 near Mile Marker 338, Thursday morning.

The accident shut down all three southbound lanes of I-75 for nearly four hours while traffic was re-routed onto the County Road 484 exit.

Marion County Fire Rescue received the call shortly after 6 a.m. Units E24, DC4, R24, and R32 responded to the scene.

According to Florida Highway Patrol troopers, all four vehicles were traveling southbound on I-75.

One of the tractor-trailers, driven by Anthony Jefferson, 35, was traveling south in the right lane. The other two tractor-trailers, one driven by Sean Carithers, 46, and the other by Danny Schetter, 57, were traveling south into the Wildwood Scales entrance ramp. The mini-van was traveling south in the center lane, adjacent to and behind the semi being driven by Jefferson.

According to reports, tractor-trailers were backed up on the ramp to the scales. Carithers was in the right lane of I-75 waiting to exit the roadway to enter the scales ramp. As Jefferson approached, he tried to swerve, but could not avoid hitting Carithers’ semi.

Jefferson’s semi slammed into the left rear of Carithers’ trailer, which caused the load of lumber he was transporting to break loose and scatter across I-75.

Jefferson then entered into the lane of the mini-van, driven by Kodi Coles, 34, and struck the right rear of the vehicle. This caused the driver to lose control, rotate clockwise, and overturn. While overturning, the van struck Jefferson’s trailer. The van continued to flip in a southwesterly direction and then slammed into the front section of Schetter’s trailer.

The van came to a rest on its left side facing north in the center lane. Both occupants were transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office provided correctional inmates to help clear the lumber from the roadway.

All lanes were open by 10 a.m.

No one was seriously injured during the crash.