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Pastors’ Family Killed in Florida Highway Pile-Up

Nearby brushfire blamed for lack of visibility

An Atlanta pastor, his wife, and teenage daughter were among the 10 people killed in a massive multi-vehicle pileup in Florida, that’s being called the deadliest crash on an American highway in 20 years.

CBNNews reports that Pastor Jose Carmo, Jr. and his family, from the International Church of the Restoration in Atlanta, were returning from a religious conference when the two vans collided with ten other cars, six tractor-trailers, and a motor home on I-75 near Gainesville, Sunday.

CBNNews learned from church’s senior pastor that Carmo was trying to get back to the suburban-Atlanta church for Sunday morning services. Senior Pastor Arao Amazonas opted to delay his departure until the next morning.

“We couldn’t have imagined such tragedy would come to us,” Senior Pastor Arao Amazonas said.

The crash happened shortly after the highway reopened after another serious accident there. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the highway had earlier been closed due to thick smoke from a 64-acre brushfire nearby, which hampered visibility.

“We went through the area. We made an assessment. We came to the conclusion that the road was safe to travel and that is when we opened the road up,” says Highway patrol spokesman Lt. Patrick Riordan. However, visibility deteriorated again before the accident.

18 survivors were hospitalized with some in critical condition.

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