Valentina Tomashosky electrocuted to death stepping on downed power line while escaping burning car after crashing into tree downed by Florida storms.
Valentina Tomashosky was driving her Dodge Avenger in Spring Hill, near Tampa, just on noon, Sunday, when she came upon a large tree that had been pushed into the road by the storm. Tomashosky managed to steer her car around the tree, avoiding a collision, only to drive over the power line the tree had brought down with it, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Hernando County Fire Rescue says the power line set fire to her car.
As Tomashosky’s car caught fire on the driver’s side, the teen sought to escape from the passenger side.
It was while exiting the car the teen stepped on the active line and was killed, ABC Action News reports.
Had risen to the rank of cadet lieutenant in the Navy’s JROTC program
Witnesses tried to help the 17-year-old but one man was shocked as he stepped in a puddle near the car.
Even after police arrived the power was still live so they could not get out of their vehicles to help Tomashosky, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Crews had to turn off electricity in the neighborhood while they removed that wire and tree from the road.
Tomashosky, who went by the name ‘Val,’ was a senior set to graduate in June at Central High School in Brooksville and attend Pasco-Hernando State College in the fall, according to News Channel 8.
Tomashosky had risen to the rank of cadet lieutenant in the Navy’s JROTC program, which she had joined four years ago, during high school.
Commander Christian Cruz from Central High’s NJROTC said Tomashosky was a dedicated leader.
He said: ‘Valentina was admired for her dedication to the unit but she was loved most for her joyful spirit and her ever-present smile. Her loss is deeply felt and she will be missed.’
Severe weather in the region over the weekend
Val’s family has reportedly created a scholarship in Valentina’s name.
The teen girl’s death follows central and southern Florida experiencing severe weather over the weekend. The storm brought heavy rain, strong winds, hail and lightning to wide areas of the state.
Severe weather warnings were still in place across Florida on Monday.
The National Weather Service had an ‘enhanced’ risk level for residents, warning of large hail, damaging winds and a ‘tornado or two.’
Thousands of people were left stranded at Miami International Airport after thunderstorms resulted in more than 100 flights being canceled.