TARPON SPRINGS — A major, five-car accident at the intersection of U.S. 19 and Klosterman Road snarled Tuesday traffic throughout Tarpon Springs and Palm Harbor.
Tarpon Springs police and fire department personnel responded to the incident around 3:30 p.m. A police update released at 5:48 p.m. stated that the heavily travelled intersection had re-opened for northbound traffic after being blocked for over two hours.
The preliminary investigation indicated that a vehicle traveling southbound on U.S. 19 turned left (eastbound) entering the intersection directly in the path of northbound traffic, which had a green light. It was unknown at this time if the vehicle was turning left or making a U-turn, but the action caused four other northbound vehicles to be involved in a crash.
According to the new police report, at least two occupants, one adult male and one adult female in a black Chevy pickup truck, were transported to an area hospital via Bayflite with possibly life threatening injuries.
Four other occupants from other vehicles were taken by ambulance to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. Two were young children, ages 1 and 2, in the same silver 2005 Suzuki. One was a 16-year-old male passenger in the front seat of a black 2013 Ford. The fourth was a 44-year-old female driver of a silver 2007 Chevy pickup truck.
The passengers of the fifth vehicle involved, a black 2005 Buick, reported no physical injuries.
The accident closed U.S. 19 northbound at Klosterman Road. Officers with TSPD and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputies were set up farther south on U.S. 19 diverting northbound traffic west toward Belcher Road.
Traffic headed east on Klosterman was also not permitted to turn north on U.S. 19 at the intersection.
Delays are still to be expected to on any northbound route north of Alderman Road in Palm Harbor until backed-up traffic disperses.
Tarpon Springs Police Department Administrative Captain Jeffrey Young stated in the latest press release that the scene remains an active investigation and additional information will be distributed once available.