Woman and pet dogs killed by lightning strike as they went for walk during storm

A woman and her two dogs have been found dead after they were struck by lightning during a morning walk.

The freak accident occurred yesterday (Wednesday, June 22) as a rare series of heavy storms lashed Southern California, the bodies later being discovered by passersby near the San Gabriel River in Pico Rivera.

Police and emergency responders were called to the area at around 9am, according to officials.

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However, despite the best efforts of medics to revive the woman – who's been identified as Antonia Mendoza Chavez, 52 – both she and her pets were pronounced dead at the scene, reports the Metro.

The lightning strike – one of 3,700 recorded overnight in the region – also caused an indentation mark on the nearby pavement, prompting a warning to locals to stay indoors until the bad weather passes.

‘We should all be cautious with this activity that’s in the area,’ said Pico Rivera City Manager Steve Carmona.

"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.’

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Some residents were frightened by the incident.

‘I told my granddaughter and her friend that they're not 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 the Southern California in 2014, when a 20-year-old man was killed.


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