Cobb church members killed in Fla. pileup


MARIETTA, Ga.,None - Five members of a Cobb County church, including the church pastor, his wife and their daughter, were killed in a massive Florida pileup over the weekend.

Authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the crash that killed at least 10 people and injured 18 just south of Gainesville on Interstate 75. A mixture of brush fire smoke and fog have been blamed for causing poor visibility.

Among the dead were pastor Jose Carmo, his wife Andriana Carmo and their daughter, Leticia Carmo. Jose Carmo's brother, Edsom Carmo, was driving the van. He and his companion were also killed.

Jose Carmo led a small Brazilian church in a Marietta office complex.

Leticia was a junior at Sprayberry High School in Marietta. Her younger sister, Lidiane Carmo was injured in the crash. Family members said Lidiane was just regaining consciousness Monday afternoon after undergoing surgery. The next day, she was said to be in fair condition.

Both directions of I-75 were closed intermittently from Sunday morning until Monday morning because of the crash.

One survivor of the crash said it looked like the end of the world – a mess of cars and trucks slamming into each other under a blinding shroud of fog and smoke from a nearby brush fire.

"It's a miracle we even got out of that car, to be honest with you," Steven Camps said.

Camps was caught in the middle of the wreckage before dawn Sunday morning.

"It just came out of nowhere. It's just like being in something that you'd see in a movie," Camps said.


Rescuers said the highway was so dark that they found victims by following the sound of screams.

"We had a mixture of fog and smoke that combined, made visibility a factor and we had a series of crashes," Lt. Pat Riordan of the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The pileup of cars was nearly a mile long.

"Visibility was reported to be zero at the time," Jeff Smith said.

At least 12 cars and six tractor-trailers were involved in the collision.

Hours after it happened, some cars were still trapped under heavy trucks and the interstate was still cluttered with twisted metal.

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