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One Dead, Four Seriously Injured in U.S. 19 Crash

Police Lights | Florida | TB Reporter

One SUV turned into the path of another SUV, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

PINELLAS COUNTY – One woman is dead and four other people were seriously injured in a traffic crash Sunday (March 11) on U.S. 19 N, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Janet Vajen, 75, of the Villages, died at Florida Hospital North Pinellas where she was taken after the crash. She was a passenger in one of the SUVs. The driver of that SUV, Herbert Vajen, 74, of the Villages; and two other passengers, Anthony Baker, 69, and Martha Baker, 49, both of Napoleon, Ohio, were seriously injured. They were all taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. The driver of the other SUV, Alexa Abbate, 29, of Clearwater, was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital with serious injuries.

The crash happened about 4 p.m. on U.S. 19 N at Lake Tarpon Drive. Herbert Vajen was driving a 2017 Ford Explorer south on U.S. 19. Troopers said he turned left onto Lake Tarpon Drive and drove into the path of a 2018 Mercedes GLE43 driven by Abbate, which was traveling north on U.S. 19.

After the collision, both SUVs rotated. The Ford came to rest on the east shoulder of U.S. 19. The Mercedes came to rest in the two inside northbound lanes of U.S. 19.

Florida Highway Patrol | Traffic Crash | Fatal Crash | U.S. 19 Crash | Janet Vajen | Tampabay News

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