A pastor, his wife, and teenage daughter were among the 10 people killed in a massive highway pileup in Florida.
International Church of the Restoration's Pastor Jose Carmo, Jr. and his family were returning from a religious conference when their vans collided with several cars, six tractor-trailers, and a motorhome on I-75 near Gainesville, Sunday
Restoration's senior pastor, who had opted to delay his departure until the next morning, said Carmo had wanted to be back in time for the suburban-Atlanta church's Sunday morning service.
"We couldn't have imagined such tragedy would come to us," Senior Pastor Arao Amazonas said.
The crash took place after the Florida Highway Patrol reopened the interstate following an earlier serious accident.
"We went through the area. We made an assessment. We came to the conclusion that the road was safe to travel and that is when we opened the road up," Highway patrol spokesman Lt. Patrick Riordan said during a news conference.
"Drivers have to recognize that the environment changes," he added. "They have to be prepared to make good judgments."
The crash's 18 survivors were hospitalized. Some are still in critical condition.
The accident was the deadliest crash on an American highway in 20 years.