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Interstate 4: What Lies Beneath?
Charlie Carlson

Driving Southwest from Daytona on Interstate 4, Christine Torioni was shocked when her car blew its engine just past the bridge over St. John’s River. She coasted into the emergency lane and sat there wondering what to do. Adding to her distress was a very strange coincidence: Her car had previously blown its engine in the very same spot.

What Christine didn’t know was that this part of Interstate 4 is known as Dead Zone- a quarter-mile section that has been the scene of an exceedingly high number of traffic accidents, many of them fatal. Believers in the supernatural put the blame on what lies beneath the asphalt.

In 1886, Henry Sanford established a small colony in these parts for the purpose for selling real estate to German immigrants. Yellow fever soon raced through the settlement, claiming the lives of four members of the same family. The victims0two children and their parents-were buried in the woods, well away from the colony. Here the dead rested in peace until 1960, when construction began on Interstate 4 and fill dirt was dumped onto the four graves to elevate a new highway. Ever since the Interstate opened, motorists driving through the infamous have reported static on their radios, cell phones that don’t work, floating orbs, and apparitions seen by the roadside. It is in the middle of this mysterious spot that Christine’s car broke down.

“After sitting in the car, I started walking,” said Christine, a New York transplant unaware of the local legend of the Dead Zone. “It was hot as blazes, and the cars were whizzing by like crazy. I came to a short bridge that went over some railroad tracks. It had short railing, and I’m so afraid of heights I was afraid to cross it with the cars speeding by.”

Christine made it to the center of the bridge then froze, fearful of losing her balance and falling to the tracks below. “Then this big tractor-trailer truck pulled off the road ahead of me and I heard the truck driver calling my name-strange, because I have no idea how he knew it. He kept telling me to walk toward him and not look down.” Step by careful step, she made it to the truck, where the driver offered her a lift to the next exit. “I climbed into the cab,” remembered Christine. “It was like a brand new inside. I mean just spick-and-span. The only thing in it was a clipboard that, strangely enough, didn’t have any papers.” She said the trailer was silver colored and the cab was pure white. The driver was neatly dressed and very clean-looking. “Actually I really didn’t think he looked like a trucker.”

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The trucker pulled off at the next exit and stopped in front of a gas station. “He asked if I needed any money for a phone call,” Christine recalled. “I told him no, and then offered to buy him something cold to drink for his help. But he declined.”
  What happened next was beyond weird, said Christine. “I turned to go into the store and noticed I didn’t hear the truck engine running. I turned to look and the truck was gone. There was a man sitting on a bench in front of the store, and I asked him if he had seen the truck that was just there. He gave me a puzzled look and said, “I’ve been sitting here all morning and haven’t seen any trucks pull in.” Even though she didn’t know at the time, Christine had encountered spirits of the Dead Zone.

Her experience, like many others, is linked to previous events. The first traffic accident in this section of the interstate involved a silver-and-white refrigerated semi that jackknifed, killing the driver. It happened in the very spot that Christine’s car broke down, not just once but twice.


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