Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Fiery Interstate Crash Kills 7 Near Gainesville, Florida
EDM Friday Briefing: Fiery Interstate Crash Kills 7 Near Gainesville, Florida

EDM Friday Briefing: Fiery Interstate Crash Kills 7 Near Gainesville, Florida


Emergency and disaster management briefing for January 4, 2019: A fiery interstate crash killed seven and injured at least seven in Florida near Gainesville; hackers are using dormant Twitter accounts to spread ISIS propaganda; thousands of tourists and residents fled resort islands in Thailand ahead of a post-monsoon season storm; the early earthquake warning app, ShakeAlertLA, is now available for Los Angeles; the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory for China; a women allegedly tested positive for Hepatitis B after receiving a letter from a surgery center alerting patients of potential infection exposure; a deputy in Broward County has been disciplined for his inaction in the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida; and a cross-country JetBlue flight was diverted to Salt Lake City due to an unruly passenger.

  1. A fiery crash on I-75 near Gainesville, Florida on Thursday, left seven people dead and at least 8 injured, some critically. Leaking diesel fuel ignited an intense fire that it damaged parts of the roadway and closed both lanes of I-75 for hours, but as of early Friday morning, reports indicated that all northbound lanes and one southbound lane have been reopened. The crash involved two big rigs and two passenger vehicles, and authorities noted that they are investigating the crash as a homicide.  
  2. Dormant Twitter accounts have become the latest focus for hackers with an agenda--to spread ISIS propaganda. Although it was recently fixed, in the past, Twitter did not confirm email addresses used to open accounts, leaving an unknown number of older accounts unconfirmed. Hackers found the flaw and were able to take over the accounts by creating the original email addresses, however Twitter has closed majority of the accounts the Islamic supporters have opened.   
  3. Thousands of tourists evacuated popular resort islands in Thailand as Tropical Storm Pabuk approached the area. According to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, nearly 6,100 people were evacuated from at-risk provinces this week, ahead of the storm. It is the first post-monsoon season storm to hit Thailand in nearly 30 years, and authorities noted that strong winds and surging seawater had already knocked down trees and utility poles, and flooded roadways, but no major damages have been reported.
  4. A new app to alert Los Angeles area residents of an impending major earthquake has finally been released. The app, ShakeAlertLA, was secretly published online New Year's Eve, but the official launch date was Thursday. The app will alert residents of a magnitude 5.0 or higher earthquake, about 10 to 20 seconds before a quake occurs, but developers and city officials warn that they system may initially have some faults, including false alarms, epicenter inaccuracy, and premature warnings.  
  5. A travel advisory has been issued by the U.S. Department of State for China. The advisory is a Level 2--Exercise Increased Caution--which allegedly comes after two recent arrests--an American family, Sandra Han and her two children, and the Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver--and increased tensions due to the trade war. The State Department cautions that exit bans could prevent the departure of some U.S. citizens from China--sometimes for years--and are arbitrarily enforced by the Chinese government.   
  6. A women who received surgery at the Saddle Brook Surgery Center has allegedly tested positive for Hepatitis B, according to her lawyers. Deficiencies found in infection control by the New Jersey Department of Health at the surgery center, revealed that patients may have been exposed to blood borne pathogens. A letter was sent out to all 3,778 patients who received services at the center between January and September of 2018--urging them to have their blood tested.  
  7. A deputy in Broward County, Florida has been placed on restricted duty following the school shooting that occurred last year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. According to findings in a statewide commission's report, the deputy, Joshua Stambaugh, "did not move toward the campus" even though he heard gunshots. Stambaugh, along with two other deputies, reportedly had to turn in their guns and badges.  
  8. A JetBlue flight traveling from San Francisco to New York was diverted to Salt Lake City due an unruly passenger.  According to reports, a male passenger, Brian Regan, 53, got aggressive with flight attendants when they refused to serve him more alcohol, and refused to sit in his seat. Salt Lake City Police officers met the plane at the gate, where Regan resisted arrest, and spit in an officer's face as he was being placed in the police vehicle.  

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.