COPY-Brush fire, fog cause 50-car pileup near Lakeland; 3 dead

Associated Press - January 9, 2008 11:14 AM ET

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - Conditions have cleared up on a highway that was blanketed by early morning fog and smoke from a brush fire in central Florida.

A 15-mile stretch on Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando is closed because of several accidents, including a 50-car pileup. Three people were killed and others were injured in the accidents.

Mangled, charred trucks and cars pinned underneath some tractor trailers are spread across the highway.

Workers are still trying to rescue one man pinned beneath an overturned truck. Numerous tractor trailers overturned on the roadway, including a tanker. At least 6 of them burned completely.

1 of the first accident victims was a sheriff's deputy. He later helped move people to safety as vehicles continued to pile.

But the deputy was haunted by those he couldn't save. He said he watched a man burn to death.

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