KEY POINTS

  • Valentina Tomashosky was driving along Evenglow Ave. during a thunderstorm
  • Her car hit a power line that had been knocked down by a fallen tree
  • The driver's side of her car caught fire
  • She tried to escape the burning vehicle but stepped on a live wire

A teenage girl from Florida has died after stepping on a live power line while trying to escape a burning vehicle.

The incident took place around 12:15 p.m. Sunday. Valentina "Val" Tomashosky, 17, was driving near Veterans Memorial Park along Evenglow Ave. in Spring Hill during a severe thunderstorm when her car hit a power line that had been brought down by a falling tree, Florida Highway Patrol said as per Tampa Bay Times.

The live wire sparked in the rain and started a fire on the driver's side of her car. Tomashosky tried to escape the burning vehicle but stepped on the live wire, which fatally electrocuted her.

Tomashosky was pronounced dead when medics arrived at the scene.

Maria Patchon, a neighbor, happened to be outside at the time of the incident. In an interview with ABC Action News, she recounted how the events had unfolded that day.

"I actually was out of my vehicle grabbing my umbrella," Patchon said, noting that she suddenly heard a pop. "I looked over. I saw that car coming down the road."

Patchon, who also saw Tomashosky's vehicle catch fire, said witnessing the incident first-hand was a traumatic experience.

The school district described Tomashosky as an outstanding student and referred to her sudden death as a "shattering loss" to Central High School.

Throughout Tomashosky's four years in high school, she participated in the ROTC program. She reached the Navy Junior Reserve Training Corps rank of cadet lieutenant. Just last month, she was voted queen of Central High School's 2021 Military Ball.

Tomashosky was planning to attend Pasco-Hernando State College to study forensics after her graduation on June 8, a report from the New York Post said.

Another incident involving live power lines took place in a Kenyan conservation area in February. Three giraffes of an endangered subspecies were electrocuted to death after stepping on low-hanging power lines at Soysambu Conservancy. The power company responsible for the power lines said it would fix the problem to avoid similar incidents in the future.

ambulance Someone left an insensitive note on the windshield of an ambulance as a paramedic rushed to save a life. An ambulance is pictured at Emory University Hospital on October 15, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images