Wrong-Way Car Crash in Citrus County Kills 18-Year-Old from Inverness
Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol operating within Citrus County are currently investigating a severe two-car crash that occurred early Saturday morning along U.S. 41 and resulted in the death of an 18-year-old female driver.
According to preliminary accident reports from the responding officers with the Florida Highway Patrol, it was close to 1:45 a.m. on January 29, 2022, when 22-year-old Manuel Alfonzo Villalbazo was riding as a passenger in a vehicle with a 16-year-old driver. As the pair were traveling in the southern direction of the northbound lane on U.S. Highway 41, their SUV was involved in a head-on collision with a yet-to-be-identified 18-year-old female driving a sedan with the correct flow of traffic. After the initial collision took place, the sport utility vehicle spun out along the highway before finally coming to a complete stop in the southbound left-turn lane and the sedan came to a rest on the eastern shoulder of the road.
Citrus County authorities, along with members of the Florida Highway Patrol, were sent to the scene of the accident shortly after the first set of 9-1-1 calls were received by local dispatchers. Upon their arrival, they quickly discovered that multiple victims were suffering from serious life-threatening injuries, including the 16-year-old driver of the SUV, the 18-year-old driver of the sedan, and her 18-year-old male passenger. All three individuals were stabilized for transport by emergency medical teams and were taken by ambulance to a local hospital where the 18-year-old female driver of the sedan passed away soon after. The condition of the other two injured victims is not known at this time.
Villalbazo sustained minor injuries during the incident and is now facing charges of aggravated child abuse, allowing an unauthorized person to drive, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell or distribute. He was taken to the Citrus County Jail after his arrest.
For almost 45 years, Florida auto accident attorney James O. Cunningham has been compassionately representing the families who have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another motorist. If you would like to schedule a free 30-minute case evaluation, please contact us today at 877-FL-INJURY to speak with an associate.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.