3 To Know: Average gas price hits $5, more

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Gas prices top $5 at an Exxon station in Washington on May 24.

1. Average gas price hits $5, AAA says 

The nationwide average price for a gallon of gasoline has topped $5 for the first time ever.

Auto club AAA said the average price on Saturday was $5. Motorists in some parts of the country, especially California, are paying far above that.

The national average price has jumped 19 cents in just the past week, and it’s up $1.93 from this time last year.

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There are several reasons for the surge in gasoline prices.

Americans typically drive more starting around Memorial Day, so demand is up. Global oil prices are rising, compounded by sanctions against Russia, a leading oil producer, because of its war against Ukraine.

And there are limits on refining capacity in the United States because some refineries shut down during the pandemic.

Add it all up, and the cost of filling up is draining money from Americans who are facing the highest rate of inflation in 40 years.

California has the highest average price, at $6.43, according to AAA. The lowest average is Mississippi, at $4.52.

While this is the first time breaking the $5 barrier, it’s still not a record when inflation is taken into account. Gas peaked at $4.11 a gallon in July 2008, which would be equal to about $5.40 a gallon today. – Associated Press

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2. Two-vehicle crash on I-75 Saturday night claims 20-year-old man's life, woman injured

Florida Highway Patrol troopers were investigating a two-vehicle crash that killed a 20-year-old Florida man and left a 40-year-old Punta Gorda woman with critical injuries Saturday.

The Patrol said the man was driving a pickup south on Interstate 75 on the inside lane north of Daniels Parkway shortly after 10 p.m.

The second vehicle, a sedan driven by the woman, was northbound on I-75 in the outside lane, north of Daniels Parkway.

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A Patrol report said the pickup drove onto the grass median, struck the cable barrier and entered the northbound I-75 travel lanes. The front of the pickup then collided with the front of the sedan.

The crash caused the pickup to overturn onto its right side on the northbound outside lane of I-75 and the sedan to stop on the northbound interstate's grass shoulder.

The man, from Palm Beach Gardens, died at the scene. The woman was taken to Gulf Coast Hospital Medical Center in critical condition.

The death is at least the 54th fatality on Lee County roads in 2022 according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. – Michael Braun/Staff

3. Lee County Sheriff probes death in Bonita Springs

Lee County Sheriff’s Office detectives were investigating a death in Bonita Springs on Thursday afternoon.

Deputies were at a fenced-in lot parallel to Interstate 75 near Imperial Parkway at Cordera Way about 2:15 p.m. The area is just north of Bonita Springs High School.

Deputies confirmed a death and said it was an active investigation. They could not release additional details.

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The area, loosely described a construction site, included grassy lands with at least two retention ponds. At least six sheriff’s vehicles responded.

A truck with a logo from Johnson’s Tree Service and Stump Grinding was seen leaving the restricted area. – Tomas Rodriguez/Staff