Lightning strike kills 1, injures 2
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A day outdoors ended in tragedy for three South Florida workers after a lightning strike killed one of them and sent the others to the hospital.
The incident took place Monday afternoon on property owned by Janet Suarez, who said she knows the victims and allows them to park their tractor trailers on the grounds. "They're hardworking guys; they drive trucks, and when they're not driving, they're out here doing mechanic work, so any truck driver out there knows," she said.
Thirty-one-year-old Andres Telles had recruited his friends, Fidelmar Montero and Miguel Lopez, to help pressure-wash his tractor trailer on Suarez's property near Southwest 172nd Avenue and 212th Street. "They were underneath the trailer, and the lightning bolt hit," a witness said in Spanish. He said the victims had tried to seek refuge from the storm.
Suarez said she and her 16-year-old son were inside their home several yards away when they heard the deafening boom. "One of the gentlemen that were outside came running to say that someone was hit," she said.
"All of a sudden, I just hear my ... mom scream out, '911!'" said Dominic Rodriguez, Suarez's son.
"We went outside, and all three of them were on the ground," said Suarez, who said the victims kept going in and out of consciousness. "To them, they had no idea what happened. They recognized us before they were taken, but they don't know what happened."
Mother and son tried to save Telles by administering CPR. "My mom was talking to 911, and then they were telling her what to do," said Rodriguez. "All I could think of was keep patience and try as best as I can, to try to keep him alive as much as I can."
"According to fire rescue, he was taking his last gasps," said Suarez. "There was nothing I could do."
Miami-Dade Police Detective Robin Pinkard said it is unclear how close the men were to the spot where lightning struck. "We're still investigating whether the individuals were directly struck by the lightning or the lightning struck the ground nearby," she said.
Hours later, the medical examiner took Telles' body away.
Montero and Lopez were transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center. They suffered severe burns and were taken to the intensive care unit. They are listed in stable condition and are both expected to recover.
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