BROOKSVILLE — Friends and classmates at Central High School in Brooksville were reeling Monday from the tragic death of a popular senior just weeks before her high school graduation.
Valentina “Val” Tomashosky, 17, was killed during a severe thunderstorm in Spring Hill on Sunday after she stepped on a live power line that had fallen in the road and set fire to her car.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Tomashosky was driving north on Evenglow Avenue north of Veterans Memorial Park about 12:15 p.m. when she came upon a large tree that had been pushed into the road by the storm. Tomashosky managed to steer her car around the tree, avoiding a collision, but drove over the power line the tree had brought down with it, troopers said.
The live wire suddenly sparked in the rain and set the driver’s side of Tomashosky’s Dodge Avenger on fire, troopers said. The teen tried to escape through the passenger’s side door. But as she exited the burning car, Tomashosky stepped onto the live wire and was electrocuted, troopers said. Rescue crews pronounced her dead at the scene.
The Hernando County School District confirmed the girl’s identity Monday, with permission from her grieving family.
She was described by the district as an “outstanding student overall” whose death is a “shattering loss” to Central High School. Tomashosky had remained an active member of the ROTC program through all four years of high school and, in her senior year, had reached the rank of cadet lieutenant in the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.
In March, Tomashosky’s classmates in the program voted her queen of Central High School’s 2021 Military Ball.
After her graduation on June 8, Tomashosky planned to attend Pasco-Hernando State College in the fall semester, district officials said. She had also begun working at a nearby Winn-Dixie grocery store.
District officials said details have yet to be finished for a funeral or any other memorial service honoring Tomashosky’s life. However, the teen’s family has established a scholarship fund in her name.
School officials said grief counselors and therapy dogs were on campus Monday.
Tributes to Tomashosky appeared on social media as news of her death spread on Monday.
“My best friend, my go to person, my rock — some of the words to describe Valentina Tomashosky,” her friend, Summer Moriarty, wrote in a Facebook message. “She was the most caring kind hearted soul that everyone will miss here on earth.”
Teachers, friends, family, and even casual acquaintances described Tomashosky as a quiet but fiery young woman with a kind heart, quick wit and infectious smile.
“Valentina was the type of person that would always make you smile - she was never in a bad mood,” another friend, Nicole Mohnacs-Leber, wrote in a Facebook message. “She brightened every room and spread love and kindness to anyone she crossed paths with. She will be missed dearly and I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know her enough to call her one of my close friends.”