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Second shock: Crash killed your dad

Published January 11, 2007


LAND O'LAKES - A.J. Sostakowski, 15, gathered Tuesday evening with friends who were reeling after popular Pine View Middle School student Krista Sellars was killed in a car accident.

A few hours later, Florida Highway Patrol troopers came to his house on Shorewood Lane in Land O'Lakes. A.J.'s father, Albert Sostakowski, 47, had been killed at 7:04 p.m. in a car accident at State Road 54 and Curley Road in Wesley Chapel.

Sostakowski's wife, Sandra, was still trying to piece together the details of the accident Wednesday. "He was a very good man," she said. A.J. was unavailable for comment.

Norma Santiago, a close friend, spoke to a reporter on behalf of the family.

"He was a good father, a good provider," Santiago said.

According to the highway patrol, Sostakowski was traveling west on SR 54 in a 1994 Toyota Corolla, approaching Curley Road. Joseph A. Espinosa II, 19, was traveling east in a 2002 Dodge pickup and made a left turn onto Curley. Espinosa, who lives in Orlando, and a witness told troopers that he had a green left-turn arrow when making the turn, said Trooper Larry Coggins.

The cars collided, and Sostakowski died at the scene, according to reports. Espinosa and a passenger in his car, David MacMillan, also of Orlando, were not injured.

Coggins said it did not appear that Espinosa was at fault and charges were unlikely.

Sostakowski was a computer programmer and project analyst. He was an avid music fan and collected electric guitars and hundreds of CDs, which line the walls of his house and fill several crates. He favored jazz.

He spent a lot of time with his son, Santiago said, riding bikes and teaching him how to play golf.

"I just can't believe he's not going to be able to teach him anymore," Santiago said.

Espinosa could not be reached Wednesday.

Sostakowski's family was making arrangements Wednesday afternoon with Loyless Funeral Home.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Gina Pace can be reached at 352 521-6518 or

[Last modified January 10, 2007, 22:09:30]

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