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Downed Powerlines Are A Real Danger In Storm-Prone SW Florida

Electric power is one of those things few people think about until it stops working, or if the bill is higher than normal. With the vast majority of power lines in Florida hanging from utility poles rather than being buried, power lines and electrical infrastructure can be an up-close and personal danger when major storms move through the suncoast.

The danger of fallen power lines was tragically brought into focus in our area after the Sun Englewood reported on a North Port Florida couple who has been in mourning after their grandaughter exited her vehicle, and came in contact with a powerline that was downed after a storm.

Florida Highway Patrol reported the accident happened when 17-year-old Valentina Tomashosky was driving her car in Spring Hill Florida when she encountered a downed power line and came to a stop. Unfortunately, when the car stopped, the vehicle was making contact with the live powerline and the car caught fire on the driver’s side.

Tomashosky, attempted to flee the vehicle but when she exited the car she stepped onto the powerline and was fatally injured by contact with the high-voltage line.

A stand-out student, Valentina Tomashosky was a lieutenant in the Junior ROTC during her time in high school, and the loss of a teenager with such a bright future is truly a tragedy for our community.

Downed powerlines are fairly common after a storm, especially in southwest Florida where we often have trees growing right up to powerlines and utility companies that are too often reluctant to keep powerlines properly clear of trees. All it takes a large branch coming down onto an older utility pole and power transmission wires containing electrical current that can range in current from 33 Kilovolts to as high as 110 Kilovolts, can be dropped onto the roadway, sidewalk, or even buildings.

As auto accident and injury lawyers, we see how the unexpected can happen at any time and change lives forever. We urge all drivers and pedestrians to keep an eye out for downed powerlines after a storm and to stay a safe distance. Reporting the location of downed powerlines to the Florida Highway Patrol can also help to keep others in our community safe.

If you or a loved one has been injured by an unsafe condition along the roadway contact us for a free attorney consultation.