FHP defends agency's handling of I-75 crashes that killed 11

Report rebuts earlier assessment by FDLE that found errors made by state troopers

 UPDATED 7:06 AM HST Aug 10, 2012
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -

The Florida Highway Patrol is defending itself against criticism of its handling of a deadly series of highway crashes that killed 11 people.

The agency released a report Friday rebutting an earlier assessment by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that found errors made by state troopers. The FHP said 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.

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