Man killed in wreck on highway shrouded by smoke from Fla. brush fires |

Man killed in wreck on highway shrouded by smoke from Fla. brush fires

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – One man was killed and at least ten people were injured in wrecks Monday on a Florida interstate clouded by fog and heavy smoke from brush fires.

The accidents forced the temporary closing of Interstate 4 in central Florida, the major east-west artery from Orlando to Tampa. Among the fires in the area were an 800-acre blaze north of the crash site, and a 1,200-acre fire to the south.

Meanwhile, firefighters tried to control a north Florida blaze that has burned more than 60,000 acres. More than 200 firefighters were battling the blaze, known as the Mallory Swamp fire. The 14-day-old fire was about 25 percent contained Monday, state officials said.

A voluntary evacuation that affected about 300 people in the area remained in effect Monday.

”At this time no homes are imminently threatened,” said Jim Brenner, a fire management administrator with the Florida Division of Forestry in Tallahassee.

A total of 20 vehicles, including eight tractor-trailers, were involved in five separate crashes on Interstate 4.

Henry John Pileggi Jr., 43, of Orlando was killed when he ran into the rear of an 18-wheeler and was struck from behind by another vehicle, said Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Sterling King. The ten people injured were taken to hospitals for treatment.


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