HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – A vehicle that illegally cut out of the express lanes Sunday on Interstate 95 in Hallandale Beach is believed to have caused a chain-reaction crash that left several people injured, authorities said.
The crash shut down the southbound lanes of the highway for more than five hours.
Three vehicles were left mangled in the mess, including a Toyota 4Runner that overturned in the express lanes and caught fire.
The 62-year-old driver and a 48-year-old passenger were taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Three adults and a 10-year-old boy were inside a Nissan Altima that was also struck.
The boy is in critical condition and one of the adults was injured.
Investigators said the third vehicle involved in the collision was a black GMC pickup truck that was being driven by a man. Two small children were also inside the vehicle.
Authorities said no one was injured inside the truck.
Detectives believe that all three cars were casualties in a chain-reaction crash that might have been caused by a fourth vehicle that illegally cut out of the express lanes to the general lanes.
Authorities said the other drivers apparently could not stop in time.
The Florida Department of Transportation has been trying to reduce the threat of "lane diving," which has been blamed on a number of crashes on I-95.
Local 10 News previously reported that the Florida Highway Patrol has responded to more than 12,000 crashes in the express lanes over a span of three years in just Miami-Dade County.
FDOT is in the process of installing new plastic poles that are sturdier and closer together to deter drivers from shifting between the lanes.
They remind drivers that they face steep fines if they are caught lane diving.
The new poles have yet to go up on the portion of highway in Hallandale Beach where Sunday's collision occurred.