Friends and aquaintances remembered Victoria Shustock Tuesday as a popular, outgoing woman who was a talented cheerleader and gymnast.
Shustock, 20, known as "Tori," was killed in a car crash in Tolland early Monday morning. She lived in Vernon and was a 2010 graduate of Rockville High School.
“Tori always had a smile on her face," RHS Principal Eric Baim said. "She was an energetic, well-spirited human being. She was a popular kid who had a lot going for her."
Shustock was a gymnast and a cheerleader at RHS.
In her athletic career, she was a top-10 vaulter at the state level, CIAC records indicate.
She also participated in national cheer competitions at the club level, Baim said.
"In speaking for the school, we truly appreciated the time she spent here at RHS," Baim said. "This is a very unfortunate tragedy. She will be missed by the RHS family and community.”
Vernon resident Louise Ruel said Shustock "was a bigger-than-life presence" at Tolland's Tri-Town Gymnastics Center, where she had worked with young people.
"I will say that when my daughter, Amber, made the decision to cheer four years ago, it was Tori who inspired her," she said. "Tori was always in the gym at Tri-Town Gymnastics, working hard, laughing, having fun. Her love of gymnastics and cheer was contagious. Tori went on to be Miss Tori, an amazing coach to many … and they are all stunned and heartbroken. I do not know how any gym she was associated with will ever be the same."
According to a news release from state police, the Troop C barracks in Tolland received a call at about 4:45 a.m. indicating a car had struck a telephone pole near 266 Mile Hill Road, just south of Dockerel Road in Tolland near the Vernon line.
When emergency responders arrived at the scene, the car was "fully engulfed" in flames on the right shoulder of the road, police said. The car had rolled after hitting the pole, and the driver - Shustock - was ejected from the car, police reported.
Tolland EMS and paramedics pronounced Shustock dead on the scene, according to the release.
It took some time for state police to release her name because they were trying to notify family members.
The accident is still being investigated. Anyone with information on the crash should contact Trooper Tillman Cormier at 860-896-3200 ext. 8000.
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