Tarpon Springs police officer, another driver, injured in crash

TARPON SPRINGS — A Tarpon Springs police officer and another driver were both hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after a crash, authorities said.

Officer Steven Venezia and 63-year-old Graciela Diaz Mastrangelo of Hernando Beach were both taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with "incapacitating injuries" after the wreck, which happened around 3:50 p.m.

According to Tarpon Springs police, Venezia was eastbound on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, when Mastrangelo, who was westbound, turned in front of him.

Police said another eastbound vehicle in a different lane had stopped to allow Mastrangelo to turn into the parking lot of Chili's Grill and Bar Restaurant at the corner of MLK and U.S. 19 N, when she crossed in front of Venezia's cruiser.

Mastrangelo was flown to the hospital by a medical helicopter; Venezia was taken by ambulance.

Their conditions were not immediately available Thursday afternoon.

Police did not say if Mastrangelo would be cited, but said the investigation was ongoing.

Tarpon Springs police officer, another driver, injured in crash 12/15/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 15, 2011 4:24pm]

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