A Florida Highway Patrol officer who reopened a smoke- and fog-covered portion of Interstate 75 in January did not have proper training and was not aware of procedures governing such an incident, according to an investigators’ report issued Thursday.
A total of 11 people, including five members of a Cobb County church, were killed in a series of crashes on the interstate caused by the smoke and fog.
But investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement did not find any criminal violations.
According to their report, Highway Patrol Lt. John Gourley decided to reopen the stretch of I-75 near Gainesville in the early hours of Jan. 29 despite protests from Highway Patrol Sgt. Bruce Simmons.
The highway had been closed because of a wildfire at a nearby state park, with the smoke mixing with fog to reduce visibility.
More than a dozen cars,