The driver of the semi-truck was uninjured in the 5-car pileup that killed two women, one of whom was struck by her own vehicle.

JACKSON COUNTY — A stretch of State Road 8 (I-10) near the US 231 overpass was closed for hours Saturday morning as Florida Highway Patrol responded to a five-car pileup that sent a semi-truck trailer over the edge of the overpass and left a woman dead after she was struck by her own vehicle. 

The wreck happened around 5 a.m. close to mile marker 130, as a Nissan Altima carrying Bhanvi Dubey, 25, of Chantilly, Va. and Tapan Acharya, 28, of Beaumont, Texas lost control on the westbound ramp and struck the median guardrails, becoming disabled in the westbound lane. According to FHP, Dubey and Acharya walked to the north shoulder of the roadway as several vehicles stopped along the north shoulder to assist, including: a Chevy Impala driven by Aeriel Peifer, 24; a Kia Optima driven by Johanna Ruiz, 33, of Hileah, Fl; and a Toyota Corolla driven by Christpher Torres, 21, and Rayvin Perez, 20, both of Kissimmee, Fl. Peifer, Ruiz, Torres and Perez all exited their vehicles to attempt to assist, with Ruiz leaving two children in her car, and Torres and Perez leaving two children in their car.

As they were attempting to assist, a semi-truck driven by Steven Downs, 33, of Northport, Fl, with Adam Hopper, 26, of Herando, Fl as a passenger, was traveling westbound and struck the Altima in the westbound lane, sending the Altima crashing into the Impala and Optima. In the collision, Peifer was struck and killed by her own vehicle. Ruiz was transported to Southeast Alabama Medical Center with critical injuries but later died.

The semi-truck then continued traveling westbound, striking the Corolla, before jack-knifing, causing the trailer to separate from the cab and flip over the bridge, crashing down onto the train tracks below. The driver, Downs, was uninjured, while the passenger, Hopper, received minor injures and was transported to Northwest Florida Hospital. 

Dubey and Acharya suffered minor injuries and were taken to Northwest Florida Hospital. Torres and Perez were uninjured and the child passengers in the Optima and Corolla were uninjured.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash and according to FHP, charges are pending.