Update: Reports in Atlanta say the deceased include a pastor of a Marietta Brazilian congregation, his wife, their daughter, and two other individuals. All five were traveling in a van.
Authorities in Florida have not yet released the names of the 10 people killed in the early-morning crash on a fog and smoke-shrouded stretch of the interstate south of Gainesville, but an employee at Sprayberry High School told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that a junior at the Cobb County school and her parents were killed.
That student’s younger sister, who is a freshman at Sprayberry, was badly injured in the wreck.
The younger sibling was taken to Shands at the University of Florida hospital in Gainesville. Hospital spokeswoman Lindsey Robertson said the teen was in critical condition Monday morning.
The employee said that Sprayberry principal Ed Wagner met with the faculty Monday morning to tell them about the deaths.
Cobb schools spokesman Jay Dillon said that extra grief counselors were on hand, “in case any students need someone to talk to.”
Authorities in Florida, meanwhile, were trying to determine Monday what caused the horrific pileup, in which a long line of cars and trucks collided one after another on a dark highway so shrouded in haze and smoke that drivers were blinded.
At least 10 were killed in the early Sunday pileup and another 18 were hospitalized.
All lanes of I-75 reopened late Sunday, but authorities closed the highway again early Monday due to poor visibility caused by fog and smoke.