8 pulled from roof of sinking SUV following crash

Alachua Fire Rescue crews discovered eight people standing on top of an SUV on the side of Interstate 75 in Paynes Prairie this week.  

The car drove off the interstate into the swampy area. Within minutes the car sunk deep into the muck.

"It is akin to mud," said Assistant Chief Larry Stewart.  "There is no foothold. There's nothing to stand on."

Not to mention the threat of animals. This presented a difficult rescue mission. They decided to send in the ladder reaching it out 50 feet to save the group.  The passengers had minor injuries. They were checked out at a hospital and released.  

Rescue crews say crashes and cars driving into the prairie in this area are pretty common. At least a dozen in the past two years. The reason?  Many blame it on the rain.

"The water tables are up, it's up closer to the road, there's less of a shoulder for emergencies," Stewart added. 

Drivers tell FOX 35 they are always more on alert in what they call a dangerous area between two rest stops along the interstate.

"I don't like being on the interstate," Jovana Johnson said.

The Department of Transportation has installed video cameras, electric signs to let people know about low visibility,crashes ahead  or water on the roads. 

More street lights are on their way and possibly guard rails.