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Two die in head-on crash on U.S. 19

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By The Staff

An early morning head-on crash on U.S. Highway 19 has claimed the lives of two people and left a third person in critical condition, according to a Florida Highway Patrol release.

They are the 16th and 17th deaths due to traffic accidents in Levy County for 2013.

One dead driver is identified as Taslim Alam, 27, of Trenton, who was operating a 2002 Toyota Camry. The other driver, who was operating a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, was identified by the FHP on Wednesday, Oct. 2, as Lawanda Lynn Mitchell, 37, of Old Town.

In critical condition is Shiran Akther, 23, of Trenton, who was a passenger in Alam's vehicle. Akther is hospitalized at UF Healthcare in Gainesville. 

According to FHP Cpl. Thomas Dillon, shortly after 5 a.m. the Jeep was headed south in the northbound inside lane of the highway when it ran into the Camry at Northwest 153rd Lane. The Jeep then ignited in flames.  Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident tied up traffic all morning as drivers were diverted to Fannin Grade while FHP investigated the wreckage.