20 crashes block Interstate 10 for hours

Florida Highway Patrol says heavy rain contributed to dozens of wrecks

Published On: Oct 05 2012 05:23:44 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 06 2012 09:42:47 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Interstate 10 was blocked between Chaffee Road and U.S. Highway 301 for hours Friday afternoon after 20 crashes involving 53 vehicles in a four-mile stretch of the highway.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, dispatchers began receiving calls of multiple crashes about 3:40 p.m.  Ultimately, 13 trooper and 25 officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office responded to wrecks.

The FHP says 18 people were transported to hospitals by Jacksonville Fire-Rescue. The extent of the injuries was not immediately known.

Troopers say weather was a factor in these crashes, as drivers involved report heavy rain was falling at the time.

Eastbound I-10 reopened by 6 p.m., and all westbound lanes we open by 8:30 p.m.