'She saw the semi coming for her': Deadly crash snarls traffic on I-75

3 tractor-trailers, Jeep involved in crash

By Corley Peel - Reporter

LAKE CITY, Fla. - A deadly crash snarled southbound lanes of I-75 traffic for hours in Lake City this week, and repairs weren't completed on the damaged lanes until Friday.

Troopers said three tractor-trailers and a Jeep were involved in the fiery crash. Jean Sainca, 44, of North Lauderdale, died. She was driving one of the tractor-trailers.

Troopers said one of the other tractor-trailer drivers had serious injuries, while the remaining semi driver was not hurt. The driver of the Jeep had minor injuries.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the first tractor-trailer was traveling northbound when one of its front tires failed. The semi veered to its left, colliding with the second semi, driven by Sainca, which was also traveling north.

Both tractor-trailers went through the center guardrail, and the second semi collided with the third semi, which was traveling south. The first semi jackknifed across southbound lanes, while the second and third semis caught fire.

The driver of the Jeep, who was traveling south, saw the crash happen, and drove off the roadway, striking a tree. Michelle Lindvo said her friend knows the woman who was driving the Jeep.

"She saw the semi coming for her, like toward her," Lindvo said.

She said the woman ended up on the side of the road, where her car caught on fire. Lindvo said the woman is a veterinarian.

"Her car was totaled. She lost thousands and thousands of dollars worth of medicine. She works out of her car, so she lost a lot of supplies," Lindvo said.

According to Lindvo, the woman is doing OK.

"She was so thankful to God that he spared her life," Lindvo said. 

The Florida Department of Transportation announced Friday that repairs to the pavement and guardrail, which were damaged in the wreck, had finally been completed and all lanes reopened Friday morning.

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