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Cape men involved in crash on I-75 in Sarasota

By Staff | Mar 11, 2020

Two Cape Coral men were involved in a seven-vehicle, triple-fatality traffic accident Monday morning on Interstate 75 near mile marker 210 in Sarasota County. One of the Cape men, Jose Leal, 56, was fatally injured and the other, Mario Mendoza, 53, was critically injured.

Both were listed as pedestrians by the Florida Highway Patrol because they had exited their vehicles at the time of the crash. The two had stopped and were changing a flat tire when the accident occurred.

Two other drivers in the crash, Joseph S. Lydic, 50, and Joseph Pontillo, 24, both of Sarasota, were also killed.

Angela Blase, 55, of Venice was seriously injured in the crash, while both Elizabeth Gunn, 57, of Sarasota and Jesse Pillinger, 21, of Charlotte were involved but uninjured.

The FHP is continuing its investigation. Officers are asking anyone with information about the crash to contact the department at 239-938-1800 or on a cell phone at *FHP(*347).

When the crash occurred, the FHP reports that Blase was driving a 2013 Ford Mustang, Lydic was driving a 2006 Mack cement truck, Gunn was driving a 2005 Toyota Corolla, Pontillo was driving a Dodge Dakota, Mendoza was driving a 2001 Chevrolet pickup, Leal was driving a 2018 Dodge 2500 pickup and Pillinger was driving a 2019 Chevrolet 4500 pickup.