2 killed, 7 critically hurt in Interstate 10 wrong-way crash

FHP: Van carrying 9 people collides head-on with Jeep going wrong way

Published On: Oct 12 2012 02:47:22 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 12 2012 03:24:40 PM EDT
Map: Baker County head-on
MACCLENNY, Fla. -

Two Jacksonville residents were killed and seven critically injured in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 10 in Baker County early Friday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

State troopers said 47-year-old Emile Whitney, of Ocala, was driving her Jeep Grand Cherokee westbound in the eastbound inside lane of Interstate 10, just east of State Road 121, about 2:30 a.m.

A Honda Odyssey driven by 20-year-old Nge Thay, of Jacksonville, was carrying nine people and heading eastbound on I-10 when it collided with the Jeep head-on, troopers said.

They said the Jeep then overturned and landed upside down in the outside lane. The van came to a stop in the median.

Kaw Lay, 37, and Ta Nu, 47, passengers in the van, died in the crash. Those critically injured were Neema Sherpa, 58; Ehsaypaw Thwe, 27; Salai Zaw Zaw Tun, 27; Pau Khua Mang, 42; Yaw Hla, 32; and Mang Do Tan, 41. All were listed as Jacksonville residents.

Thay, the driver of the van, suffered only minor injuries. Whitney, the driver of the Jeep, was also critically injured. Only those two and Nu were wearing seat belts.

Those injured were taken to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center.

Troopers said blood alcohol content results for Whitney, along with charges, are pending.

The eastbound lanes of I-10 were closed for about three hours. Traffic was routed onto State Road 121 to U.S. Highway 90.