Lakewood Ranch, Florida - Friday afternoon emergency crews at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center jumped into action.
"Everybody just started running like crazy," said June Granger. "You could tell there were a lot of doctors and nurses that were coming in that were not scheduled to work."
Granger's husband was discharged just as the rush of accident victims were arriving. The hospital is less than a mile away from the near 50 car pile-up on I-75, and the ER staff said they were ready.
"What we do is call a code that activates the whole entire hospital, so everybody in every department that the ER is preparing for an influx," said Diane Savino, nursing manager of the hospital's emergency department.
Savino says while some of the most severely injured were flown to trauma centers at larger hospitals in St. Pete or Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch received 13 patients in the first two hours after the crash. Most were suffering severe lacerations or broken bones.
"Some were walk-ins, right through the front door," said Savino. "Others were just looking though for their loved ones, who were most likely stuck in traffic who they couldn't get in touch with."
Granger says the injured one after another. "They were coming in on those boards, and they had those things strapped to their necks," said Granger.
"It was very professional. They were excellent and they were pretty on top of it but it was pretty chaotic."