Miami-Dade County

Commuters back to work after holidays delayed by 17-car pileup on Palmetto Expressway

A 17-car crash blocked the northbound lanes of the Palmetto Expressway 826 around 6:45 a.m. Jan. 5, 2015, at Northwest 122nd Street. A car hit a truck, resulting in diesel fuel being spilled onto the highway.
A 17-car crash blocked the northbound lanes of the Palmetto Expressway 826 around 6:45 a.m. Jan. 5, 2015, at Northwest 122nd Street. A car hit a truck, resulting in diesel fuel being spilled onto the highway. EL NUEVO HERALD

Eight separate accidents — involving 17 vehicles including an 18-wheeler, an armored bank truck and a dump truck — shut down the northbound lanes on the Palmetto Expressway for hours Monday morning, delaying many commuters headed back to work for the first time after the holidays.

The pileup, which sent three people to the hospital with minor injuries, happened at about 6:45 a.m. at Northwest 122nd Street and the highway, said Jose Sanchez, a Florida Highway Patrol spokesman.

The accident occurred when a vehicle improperly changed lanes and crashed into a truck, resulting in diesel fuel being spilled onto the roadway, causing a “chain reaction,” Sanchez said.

“It was chaos,” Sanchez said. “The lanes were completely closed off. People going to work, people taking their kids to school on the first day.”

All of the northbound lanes were closed for nearly three hours before reopening at about 10 a.m., he said.

Sanchez said troopers from the south district responded to clean up the accident as quickly as possible.

“It was a great inconvenience for a lot of people,” he said.

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