RAIN – DRIVER INATTENTION causes 31 vehicle pile up Interstate-4 – County Road 557 and U.S. 27 in POLK COUNTY between Tampa – Disney World

POLK COUNTY – A multivehicle crash closed one lane of Interstate 4 westbound at U.S. 27 on Sunday afternoon, backing up traffic for six miles. The first of 23 crashes happened at 4:43 p.m. and caused a chain reaction. Altogether, 48 vehicles were involved, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

FHP officials said there weren’t any fatalities in the crash, but four people were taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Two of the victims were taken by ambulance to Lakeland Regional Medical Center and two to Heart of Florida Hospital. The vehicles were moved to the side of the road by 5:30 p.m., and all westbound lanes were reopened.

All of the crashes remain under investigation.

The series of collisions were spread along a nearly two-mile stretch of the interstate, not far from where a massive I-4 pileup occurred in January 2008 when five people were killed and 70 vehicles were involved in crashes as smoke and fog hindered visibility.

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