Michael Kolendo, 74, was dead for possibly more than an hour Wednesday evening in Palm Coast’s F Section when someone on Farmsworth Drive noticed Kolendo’s white car as if parked in a swale, still running, with Kolendo at the wheel. He had veered off to the right and crashed into a mailbox. The car, a 2016 Ford C-Max hatchback, had some visible damage to the right passenger side.
The Florida Highway Patrol would later determine that Kolendo “appeared to have had a medical episode while driving.” He’d been going east on Farmsworth Drive. The crash took place at 80 Farmsworth. Kolendo’s house is half a dozen lots down the same street.
The vehicle had tinted windows and at first the person reporting the discovery of the vehicle at around 8:30 p.m. told a 911 dispatcher that the doors to the vehicle were locked and it was difficult to tell anything about the occupant. When paramedics arrived they broke the glass to one of the doors’ windows and gained access. Michael Kolendo was pronounced dead at 8:38 p.m.
The only other notable aspect of the incident was FHP’s discovery of a handgun, a Sig Sauer P365, with 11 live rounds and two magazines, in the car. The weapon, which belonged to Kolendo, was turned over to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office for safekeeping. Flagler County Fire Rescue and the Palm Coast Fire Department were among the responders. John’s Towing of Bunnell recovered the Ford.
Kolendo’s was the sixth road-related fatality on Palm Coast or Flagler County roads so far this year. Four of the fatalities were motorcycle related. Both fatalities involving four-wheeled vehicles were medically related. On June 15, George Serafino, 76, died in circumstances similar to Wednesday’s crash, after his car veered off State Road 100 and lightly struck a pole. Even though both deaths were the result of medical episodes, they remain categorized as traffic fatalities in state records. The fatality on Farmsworth Drive capped an unusually busy day of crashes in the city and the county, though none of those crashes proved serious to at least four patients taken to a local hospital.