Fla. patrol defends self in wrecks that killed 11

AP News
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Posted: Aug 10, 2012 11:03 AM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Highway Patrol is defending itself against criticism of its handling of a series of crashes that killed 11 people on a highway that troopers reopened despite smoke and fog.

The agency released a report Friday rebutting an earlier assessment by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that found errors made by the patrol. FHP says even if all of FDLE's recommendations were present at the time of the Jan. 29 crashes near Gainesville, it's likely the same thing would have happened.

It also places blame on the drivers themselves, saying "no amount of planning or policy will take the place of driver reaction to low visibility and unpredictable conditions."

Interstate 75 had been blanketed in smoke and fog and was closed for a time. Once it reopened, there was a string of six separate fatal crashes.