15 car crash in Seminole County possibly caused by street racing, troopers say

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a serious crash that occurred Saturday night.

Troopers said the crash happened on State Road 417 near mile marker 44 at 9:44 p.m.

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According to troopers 15 vehicles were involved in the crash. All vehicles were traveling southbound on SR-417.

Troopers said 24 people were involved in the crash and 6 were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

Read: More than 26 people hospitalized after 17-vehicle crash shuts down SR-417, firefighters say

All of the southbound lanes were reopened at 1 a.m., after all 15 vehicles were towed from the scene.

The two cars, a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta and a 2012 Chevy Cruz, crashed into each causing a 13 car chain reaction crash.

Both 18-years-old drivers were transported to the hospital.

Troopers say they have two theories about what may have caused the pile-up: street racing, or road rage.

“We do know the first two cars collided, and then after the fact, you are traveling at speeds anywhere from 65 to 85 miles an hour up on an interstate type road, and so those cars were trying to swerve...there was a Ping-Pong effect with those cars,” FHP Lt. Kim Montes explained.

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Troopers said each driver gave a different account of what happened and said that the other driver was driving aggressively towards them.

“One of the first people that was involved in the crash was actually in the process of calling FHP to report the two drivers that caused this crash, as it appears to her they were involved in a street race,” Montes said.

According to troopers, charges are pending once the investigation is complete.

Troopers are also reviewing dash cam video from one of the witnesses.

Montes says street racing has become a problem in Central Florida since the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“There is no place for it on our roadway, exactly for this,” Montes said. “If it wasn’t street racing and it was a road rage, again, things can go wrong when you let your emotions take over and crashes happen...these two drivers could be responsible for all these other vehicles involved in the crash.

(Video below was sent to WFTV showing efforts to clean SR-417 after 17-vehicle crash)

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.