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Two Pasco teens die in I-75 crash

WESLEY CHAPEL — Two teenage girls died Monday afternoon after their car veered off Interstate 75 .

Tabatha Pastrana, 18, of Wesley Chapel and Kristin Gaskin, 17, of San Antonio were driving north about 1 p.m. when Pastrana lost control of the car just north of State Road 54, said Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Coggins.

Her 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse entered the east shoulder of the highway, ran into some trees and overturned, resting on its roof, Coggins said.

Pastrana, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. Gaskin, who was wearing a seat belt, was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where she later died.

Gaskin's family declined to comment Monday evening.

Authorities have not yet determined what caused the one-car crash.

It is also unclear where the girls were going.

"My brother said he talked to her on MySpace recently, and she said she was going to Ocala with a friend," said Pastrana's 15-year-old sister, Syeeta. "She told my mom she was going to work, but never said she was going on the highway."

Pastrana's job was in Tampa, where she worked as a babysitter at a YMCA. She was a senior at Wesley Chapel High School and wanted to move to Miami after graduation to work in journalism, Syeeta said.

The two sisters were close: They recently went out for ice cream to celebrate Pastrana's completion of her senior project.

The sisters went bowling Sunday evening with their brother, 16-year-old Nathaniel, and took pictures and had a good time, Syeeta said.

As they got ready for school Monday, Syeeta told her sister to be careful, "just because."

"I loved her," Syeeta said. "Now, she will be happy with God."

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at cspencer@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

Two Pasco teens die in I-75 crash 05/05/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 12, 2008 9:03am]
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