SARASOTA — A Nokomis teenager was unable to avoid hitting a vehicle that ran a red light early Thursday, authorities said.

The driver of the truck she struck is in critical condition and that man faces charges of violation of a traffic control device, authorities said.

Julia Isabella Morrell, 19, of Nokomis, was northbound about 8:05 a.m. driving a 1998 Toyoto Sienna in the left turn lane of Interstate 75 exit ramp and approaching the intersection, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

David Michael Kulju, 45, of Tampa, was eastbound driving a 2004 Toyota 4 Runner in the outside lane of State Road 70 approaching the intersection and “failed to stop for the red traffic signal and entered the intersection,” according to the FHP report.

Kulju’s Toyota right side struck the front of Morrell’s car. Kulju’s 4-Runner then rotated into the back of a third vehicle — a 2011 Kenworth T-800 tractor truck.

The Kenworth was being driven by Nathan Teuton, 32, of Myakka City.

The crash took place in Manatee County, authorities said.

Kulju was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Morrell and Teuton were not injured.

All three vehicle drivers were wearing their seat belts, according to FHP.


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