HOLT, Fla., June 5, 2022—It was a busy afternoon on Interstate 10 today with three traffic accidents within a three-mile stretch in the Holt area that shut down the highway for more than two hours.
All three accidents happened within 30 minutes of each other. The roadway was wet after a thunderstorm moved through the area minutes before.
The first accident happened around 3:05 p.m. in the eastbound lane at mile marker 46 when a pickup wound up overturned in the south tree line.
The driver and his dog were uninjured in the accident and it was cleared up by 4 p.m.
While Holt Fire District responded to this accident, another crash happened about 3:10 p.m. at eastbound mile marker 45, just west of the Holt exit.
Since there were no injuries at the first crash location, Holt Fire District responded to the second crash.
The driver was injured after the van sideswiped another vehicle. Like the pickup, the van wound up in the tree line, facing northeast.
The driver was transported to the hospital by ambulance. The van was cleared from the interstate by 5 p.m.
However, within 10 minutes of the second crash, a third accident happened at 3:20 p.m. at eastbound mile marker 43 west of the van accident when a DLC Trucking tractor trailer jackknifed as the driver tried to brake for stopped traffic.
No one was injured in this incident but the truck and trailer completely blocked both traffic and emergency lanes.
While traffic in Okaloosa County was at a standstill, further west in Santa Rosa County, eastbound I-10 traffic was being detoured off the interstate at exit 31 to U.S. Hwy 90 because of the semi jackknife, which caused even more highway backup to exit 28, Ward Basin Road.
Detoured eastbound Hwy 90 traffic was allowed to re-enter the interstate at Log Lake Road.
After about 15 minutes or so stuck behind the jackknifed semi, motorists attempted to go around the truck, driving off the road and emergency lanes onto the south grassy shoulder. A few got through the roadblock.
As the minutes turned into hours, many stuck motorists decided to cross the interstate median and head back west on I-10.
Around 4:30 p.m., two large-truck wreckers showed up only to find the emergency lane blocked by a semi that was backing up toward the west.
It briefly became a game of “chicken” to see who would (or could) move first.
Once the wreckers got through the jam, they straightened out the jackknife. The semi driver drove the truck to the south emergency shoulder, the roadway was swept clean of grass and dirt, and the road was reopened at 5:11 p.m.
The interstate at exit 31 was reopened to eastbound traffic at 5:30 p.m.