Highway Patrol identifies 5 children, 2 truck drivers killed in I-75 crash

    Courtesy: ABC Mom Tips on Facebook.

    Five children traveling in a van from Louisiana to Disney World were among the seven people killed in a fiery crash on I-75 between Gainesville and Alachua Thursday.


    The Florida Highway Patrol says the crash happened about 3:40 p.m. when a semi and a sedan heading north on I-75 collided and drove through the guardrail, the center median and into the southbound lanes.

    Troopers say the semi collided with the van and another semi heading south. Both semis caught fire while the van overturned, ejecting multiple people. Troopers say a fifth vehicle, a pickup truck, drove through the scene and hit debris and possibly some of the victims.

    Troopers say the five children who died, ranging in ages from 9 to 14, were from Marksville, Louisiana. One of the truck drivers who died, 59-year-old Steve Holland was from West Palm Beach. The second driver who died was identified as 49-year-old Douglas Bolkema.

    Troopers say eight more people, including children, were taken to the hospital.

    The crash shut down all lanes for several hours Thursday. Right now, troopers say the inside and middle southbound lanes are open and traffic is moving slowly. The outside lane is still closed.

    The Florida Department of Transportation says they're still repairing the damaged asphalt from the crash. Officials say drivers should expect double lane closures tonight.

    This is a developing story. We'll continue to update as more details come in.

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