Woman, 2 dogs killed by lightning strike near Los Angeles

She is the first person in the country to die from a lightning strike in 2022.

June 22, 2022, 10:36 PM

A woman and her two dogs were killed by a lightning strike in Los Angeles County's Pico Rivera on Wednesday morning as thunderstorms hit Southern California.

Police and paramedics arrived at the scene at San Gabriel Riverbed, where the woman and her dogs were found dead along the path, according to ABC News Los Angeles station KABC.

"We should all be cautious with this activity that's in the area," Pico Rivera City Manager Steve Carmona said, according to KABC. "We want everybody to be careful. There's a lot of instability in the air. Just be careful and do your best to stay indoors at this time."

The woman was identified by authorities as Antonia Mendoza Chavez, 52, according to KABC.

Lightning deaths are rare in California, with only nine people dying from them since 2006. The woman, who hasn't been identified, is the first person in the country to die from a lightning strike this year.

Pico Rivera officials told residents to stay inside while the storm passed.

The National Weather Service's Los Angeles branch said on Twitter that residents in San Gabriel Valley should watch out for another downpour and "dangerous lightning."

The storms also forced officials throughout the area to close a stretch of beaches for up to three hours, KABC reported.

The woman's death raised concern for those living in the area.

"I'm scared," resident Mary Perez told KABC. "I told my granddaughter and her friend, she's not walking to school, I'm taking her. I think more about the lightning. Not that I never thought about it. I didn't think it could really do that. It's just awful."

ABC News' Marilyn Heck contributed to this report.

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