A resident of The Villages died Sunday afternoon in a two-car collision in Pinellas County.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 2017 Ford Explorer, driven by Herbert Vajen, 74, was traveling south on U.S. 19 about 4 p.m. when it attempted to turn left onto Lake Tarpon Drive. The Explorer hit a northbound 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE 43, driven by Alexa Abbate, 29 and of Clearwater.
One of the Ford’s passengers, Janet Vajen, 75 and from The Villages, was taken to the Florida Hospital of North Pinellas where she later died from her injuries.
The Ford’s driver, Herbert Vajen, and two other passengers, Anthony Baker, 69, and Martha Baker, 49, both of Napoleon, Ohio, were taken to Bayfront Hospital with serious injuries.
Abbate, the driver of the Mercedes, sustained serious injuries and was transported to Mease Countryside Hospital. Her passengers — Cory Tallitsch, 29 and of Sarasota and a 2-year-old from Clearwater not identified by law enforcement — were also taken to that hospital but were uninjured.
Authorities said alcohol was not a factor in the accident and that all occupants were wearing a seat belt.
Villages resident killed in Pinellas crash on U.S. 19