A Thonotosassa woman died Feb. 13 after her van drove off the boat ramp at Lowry Park.
The accident occurred around 7:30 p.m. when the driver, Migdalia Mendoza, 51, of 9527 Lake Park Drive, was trying to find her way to a church function, a Tampa Police Department media release said.
“It appears that she drove off the boat ramp and into the water,” the release said. “It was raining heavily at the time.”
Police say Mendoza was talking to a friend one the phone prior to her death. “She was lost and told her friend she was in the water and needed help,” the release said.
Someone across the Hillsborough River heard a noise and thought there was a van in the river. He called 911.
When officers arrived, they got into the water and tried to rescue Mendoza, but the vehicle had already submerged.
Mendoza was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead.