A woman and her two dogs have been found dead after being struck by lightning during a morning walk.
The freak accident happened yesterday (Wednesday June 22) as a rare series of severe storms battered Southern California, with the bodies later discovered by passersby near the San Gabriel River in Pico Rivera .
Police and emergency responders were called to the area around 9 a.m., officials said.
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However, despite doctors’ best efforts to revive the woman – who has been identified as Antonia Mendoza Chavez, 52 – she and her pets were pronounced dead at the scene, the Metro reports.
The lightning strike – one of 3,700 recorded overnight in the area – also caused an indentation mark on the nearby sidewalk, prompting residents to stay indoors until the bad weather passes .
“We all need to be careful with this activity taking place in the area,” Pico Rivera City Manager Steve Carmona said.
“We want everyone to be careful. There is a lot of instability in the air. Be careful and do your best to stay indoors at this time.”
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Some residents were frightened by the incident.
“I told my granddaughter and her friend they weren’t walking to school, I’m taking her,” said Mary Perez, who lives near the site of the strike.
“I didn’t think (lightning) could really do that. It’s just awful.”
A fatal lightning strike last occurred in Southern California in 2014, when a 20-year-old man was killed.