A 17-year-old girl has died after she was electrocuted trying to escape her burning car.
Valentina Tomashosky, from Hernando County in the US state of Florida, drove into a fallen power pole causing her car to catch fire on the driver’s side on Sunday about midday (local time), police told Tampa Bay 10.
Valentina managed to free herself and escape the blaze via the passenger-side door, but was electrocuted after she stepped on a fallen power line.
Sergeant Steve Gaskins, from Florida Highway Patrol, told WFLA he believed the car catching fire caused Valentina to panic and "she probably had no concept or clue what was waiting for her on the other side of that door when she got out".
The teen was pronounced dead at the scene.
Resident Maria Patchon, who saw the crash, told CNN “the whole driver's side was engulfed”.
Crews struggled to secure the scene due to the live cable on the ground and had to turn off electricity in the neighbourhood for hours, ABC Action News reported.
Much of the area was affected by storms, heavy rain and winds over the weekend.
Community mourns teen’s death
Valentina was due to graduate from Central High School in June and was a member of the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program.
The teen was set to study forensics at university.
The corps commander Christian Cruz told CNN Valentina “was admired for her dedication to the unit but she was loved most for her joyful spirit and her ever-present smile”.
Central High School confirmed her death on Facebook and sent its “deepest sympathies” to Valentina’s family.
A woman, whose daughter knew Valentina, wrote the teen “was so sweet and kind”.
Her friend, Summer Moriarty, wrote the teen “was the most caring, kind-hearted soul that everyone will miss here on earth”.
The Hernando County School District told the Tampa Bay Times Valentina was an “outstanding student overall” and her death was a “shattering loss”.
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