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17-year-old killed after getting electrocuted by power line downed during severe weather

A Florida teen is dead after she stepped on a downed power line while trying to escape her burning car.

Valentina Tomashosky, 17, was driving in Hernando County on Sunday and collided with a power line brought down by a fallen tree during severe weather, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Investigators said the teen’s car caught fire on the driver’s side, so she tried to escape from the passenger side. That’s when she stepped on the active line.

“You could see the whole driver’s side was engulfed,” neighbor Maria Patchon told CNN affiliate WFTS. “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.”

Tomashosky was a senior at Central High School in Brooksville, about 50 miles north of Tampa. She was a cadet lieutenant in the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program, according to Hernando School District.

“Valentina was admired for her dedication to the unit but she was loved most for her joyful spirit and her ever-present smile,” NJROTC Commander Christian Cruz said. “Her loss is deeply felt and she will be missed.”

Tomashosky was planning to go to Pasco-Hernando State College in the fall to study forensics.

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