HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — A 17-year-old girl died Sunday as severe weather rolled through Tampa Bay.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the teen, later identified as Valentina Tomashosky, was driving north on Evenglow Avenue in Spring Hill around 11:30 a.m. when she collided with a downed power line near Hyacinth Lane.
ABC Action News reporter Anthony Hill spoke with a neighbor who said she watched it all unfold.
“The father had come over to our area and yelled ‘that’s my daughter in the car,’” said Maria Patchon, as she recounts what happened on Sunday.
Patchon just happened to be outside during the final moments of Tomashosky’s life.
“I actually was out of my vehicle grabbing my umbrella.”
That’s when Patchon says she heard a pop.
“I looked over. I saw that car coming down the road.”
Hernando County Fire Rescue says Tomashosky tried to drive around a tree in the road brought down by strong storms in the area. FHP says she hit a power line setting fire to the car.
“You could see the whole driver’s side was engulfed.”
The teen's car caught fire on the driver's side and she attempted to escape the flames by getting out on the passenger's side, according to FHP.
According to a release, Tomashosky stepped onto a live power line and died at the scene.
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Patchon says seeing what happened was a traumatizing experience.
“So, even when the police arrived, they couldn’t get out of the vehicle because the power was still live… so, it was devastating to watch.”
Crews had to turn off the electricity to that community for hours while they removed that wire and tree from the road.