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Man in crash will be cited again

Published Sep. 3, 2005

A city man who has been cited 12 times in Pinellas County for traffic violations in the past 11 years was in a wreck Wednesday morning.

Police said Vernon W. Tagtmeyer, 72, ran a stoplight at Missouri Avenue and Belleair Road and hit a Cadillac driven by Betty Arvanitis, 71. She was uninjured. Tagtmeyer was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he remains in serious condition.

Police said Tagtmeyer will be cited for running the stoplight as he headed south along Missouri Avenue around 11 a.m. Arvanitis was turning left from the northbound lane of Missouri, headed west on Belleair.

Tagtmeyer, driving an older-model Volkswagen Jetta, was in the middle lane of the southbound traffic. While traffic stopped on either side of him, he headed through the intersection and struck Arvanitis in the rear passenger side, police said.

Tagtmeyer's car was crunched by the impact and fire and rescue personnel had to extricate him from the car, which did not have air bags.

The intersection was closed for about 30 minutes. Southbound traffic was reduced to one lane and rerouted through a drugstore parking lot.

Tagtmeyer was cited in February for not wearing a seat belt and failing to stop at a traffic control device. Days earlier, he had been cited for driving 17 mph over the legal limit. Previous citations include speeding, failure to stop for a school bus, running a stop sign, improper turn and violation of a driver's license restriction.

Rescuers assist Vernon W. Tagtmeyer, 72, after a traffic accident Wednesday morning at Missouri Avenue and Belleair Road in Clearwater. He was listed in serious condition at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.