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Man dies on I-75 in Sarasota after car strikes tree, catches fire

SARASOTA -- A man died in a car crash on Interstate-75 near the Fruitville Road exit on Thursday night after his vehicle struck a tree and caught fire, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

James A. Sweet, 72, of Punta Gorda, was driving a 2014 Ford Edge southbound on I-75 in the left lane at 10:41 p.m. Thursday night, according to a release.

The vehicle began to drift into the center and right lanes, eventually going into the shoulder of the highway and striking a tree, troopers said.

The car began to leak fuel and eventually became fully engulfed in flames, according to a release.

Troopers said they do not currently know what caused the crash, but that no skid marks were found at the scene.

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