Tarpon crash kills 1, injures three

Published May 10, 2007

TARPON SPRINGS - A Tarpon Springs woman died Friday evening when the car she was driving crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with another vehicle.

Tina Heater, 47, was traveling west on Keystone Road, near Lake Tarpon Drive, when her Toyota Corolla swerved across the center line about 7:30 p.m. It struck a Nissan sport utility vehicle driven by Cheryl Atenza of Tampa.

Atenza, 39, and her two children, ages 14 and 12, were taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Their conditions are unknown.

Heater, who had a history of reckless driving, did not survive.

Heater grew up in Dunbar, W.Va., and graduated from Dunbar High School, her brother Mark Heater of West Virginia, said Monday. His sister moved to Florida to be closer to her mother, who lives in Lutz, he said.

Tina Heater had one adult son.

Mark Heater said he didn't know any specifics involving the accident.

Officials also said they don't know why her car crossed the center line.

Florida records show that, since 2000, Tina Heater has been cited for reckless driving, driving under the influence and driving without a valid license.

In 2005, her license was revoked for 180 days and then suspended for six months, for driving under the influence.

The Tarpon Springs Traffic Homicide Investigation Unit is following up on the crash.

Elena Lesley can be reached at elesley@sptimes.com or 727-445-4167.