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Woman drowns after driving off boat ramp | News

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Woman drowns after driving off boat ramp

Tampa, Florida - A woman from Thonotasassa drowned after she drove her car off the Lowry Park Boat Ramp and into the Hillsborough River on Wednesday.

"We received a 911 call from the resident around 7:30 p.m. ... Officers were on scene within four minutes. There were two police officers who arrived who stripped down and got in the water, said Andrea Davis, spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department.

The woman, who has been identified as Migdalia Mendoza, apparently got lost while on her way to a church function in Tampa and ended up in the park.

"It was raining pretty hard, so the weather could have had something to do with it. But for whatever reason, she didn't know where she was, said Davis.

After pulling the 51-year-old from the water, crews tried to revive her before she was transported to St. Joseph's. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Family members at the scene were visibly shaken and distraught while waiting for her SUV to be pulled from the water around 10:15 Wednesday night. 

Her nephew and sister told 10 News that Mendoza was on the phone with a friend to get directions when she drove off the ramp and into the water. 

"She heard what was going on and she heard that she couldn't see and she even heard her last... basically, it was the last scream," said Haronid Rosario, the victim's nephew.

The park is not well lit, but there is a light directly over the ramp. However, the rain may have made it difficult for her to see, as much of the parking lot surrounding the ramp was still covered in water from the heavy Wednesday night storm.

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