Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

I-95 Crash 'The Worst I've Seen'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

I-95 Crash 'The Worst I've Seen'

Article excerpt

Even in daylight yesterday, almost a full day after it was run

over by a UPS truck, authorities couldn't determine what kind of

car was involved in a three-vehicle accident that killed four

people on Interstate 95 Friday night.

The 10 p.m. accident happened on I-95 about 3 miles north of

the Florida 210 exit when the southbound UPS semi with two

trailers crossed the 40-foot-wide grassy median, entered the

northbound lanes and smashed into the passenger car and another

semi, patrol Lt. Bill Leeper said. The two truck drivers and the

two people in the car all were killed instantly, he said.

Thomas Shane Jowers, 36, of the 8300 block of Santman Court in

Jacksonville, was the driver of the UPS truck, Leeper said.

Joseph Claudy, 38, of Port Charlotte, was the driver of the

other semi, a Werner Enterprises truck that was carrying cans of

white paint.

The two men in the car were Israeli citizens who apparently

attended Hunter College at the City University of New York,

Leeper said. Authorities did not release their names last night

because relatives had not been notified, he said.

Officers found backpacks in the car, a 1997 two-door Pontiac

rented from Avis in Orlando, Leeper said. But even after hauling

the wreckage away and examining the car, investigators could not

positively determine the model of the mangled, paint-covered

car.

"They probably didn't even know what hit them," Leeper said.

Investigators may never know what caused the UPS truck to drive

through the median and into the oncoming lanes that carry a

speed limit of 70 mph, Leeper said.

"It could have been something physical, it could have been

fatigue, it could have been mechanical -- it's hard to tell

right now," Leeper said.

An autopsy on Jowers, however, may provide clues to the cause

of the accident. …

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