Photo courtesy: Debra Storey
ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a multiple-vehicle crash in Alachua County, in which seven people died, including five children.
Traffic was at a standstill for several hours on Interstate 75, near mile marker 394, or about a mile south of Alachua on Thursday at around 3:40 p.m.
Troopers say a semi truck was traveling on northbound I-75 when it and another vehicle collided.
Troopers say after that crash, both the semi and other vehicle crashed through the guardrail, into the center median and into the southbound lanes, where a passenger van and another semi truck were driving.
FHP says the van flipped over, ejecting some its passengers.
Officials say the van was carrying children from Louisiana who were reportedly headed to Walt Disney World.
Officials say along with the five children killed, two adults also died.
They say seven more people were taken to the hospital in critical condition.
At one point, investigators say the Alachua County Sheriff's Office dispatched a helicopter to look for potential victims in the woods off the highway.
A large fire was ignited after approximately 50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled on the roadway.
Trooper say both semi trucks caught fire.
Officials say the road was damaged, so drivers should expect delays in the area.