A serious crash on U.S. 41 in Venice occurred on February 22, 2014. According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) report, this wreck took place on southbound U.S. 41 near Roberts Road on Saturday afternoon.
The FHP report indicated that a 2007 Toyota Coupe was heading south on U.S. 41 when its driver attempted to make a left turn in front of an oncoming 2004 F-250 pickup truck. When the Toyota pulled out in front of the truck, it violated the right of way and caused the collision, according to the FHP report.
The driver of the truck, 48-year-old Margaret M. Niklas, of Arcadia, did not report injuries; however, a passenger in her truck was injured in the wreck. Marie Niklas, 17, was taken to Venice Hospital with minor injuries.
According to the FHP report, it appears that Toyota driver Ralph S. Van Brunt, 81, was attempting to turn left onto Spanish Lakes Drive into the Spanish Lakes community when the collision occurred. Sadly, his passenger, Joy L. Van Brunt, 76, of Venice, was critically injured in the crash. Unfortunately, she was so badly injured that she was taken by helicopter to Blake Hospital in Manatee County, where she died of her injuries. Ralph was seriously injured and taken to Venice Medical Center for treatment.
According to the FHP report, all occupants involved in the crash were wearing their seat belts; however, this two-car collision still caused the death of a Venice woman, and two others to also suffer injuries.
Mallard Perez would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Joy L. Van Brunt, and we would like to wish Marie Niklas and Ralph S. Van Brunt full and fast recoveries.