BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida teenager less than two months away from graduating from high school was electrocuted when she stepped on a live power line that fell onto the road during a severe thunderstorm and set fire to her car.
On Sunday afternoon, Valentina “Val” Tomashosky, 17, came upon a tree that high winds from the storm had pushed onto the road, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The Florida Highway Patrol, which investigated the accident, did not identify the teen, citing the state’s Marsy’s Law, which is aimed at protecting victims. But the Hernando County School District confirmed the girl’s identity Monday, with permission from her family.
According to the trooper’s report, the teen steered around the tree but then drove over a live power line the tree brought down with it. The driver’s side of her car caught fire and she got out through the passenger door. But she stepped on the wire and troopers said she died at the scene.
Tomashosky was a senior at Central High School in Brooksville, and classmates were reeling Monday from news of her death. Grief counselors and therapy dogs were on campus Monday, the newspaper reported.
She was described by the school district as an “outstanding student overall” whose death is a “shattering loss.”
She was a member of the ROTC program through all four years of high school and, in her senior year, had reached the rank of cadet lieutenant in the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, officials said. In March, her classmates voted her queen of Central High School’s 2021 Military Ball. She planned to attend Pasco-Hernando State College in the fall, district officials said.
Tributes from friends appeared on social media.
“My best friend, my go to person, my rock — some of the words to describe Valentina Tomashosky,” her friend, Summer Moriarty, wrote in a Facebook message. “She was the most caring kind hearted soul that everyone will miss here on earth.”