Antonia Mendoza Chavez Pico Rivera, California woman killed along with two dogs during daily morning walk. Surveillance video captures last moments.
Surveillance camera has captured the last moments of a California woman as she walked with her two dogs before sudden lightning killed all three moments later.
Antonia Mendoza Chavez and her two dogs were killed by a lightning strike Wednesday morning as they walked along the Pico Rivera district.
Paramedics and police were called to the area of Rimbank and Mines avenues, near the San Gabriel River, in the Los Angeles area around 8:50 a.m.
Pico Rivera City Manager Steve Carmona said Chavez, 52, was found deceased on the path with her two dogs.
She had apparently been struck by the lightning as storms moved through Southern California in the morning. A summer storm brought rain, thunder and lightning to much of the area overnight into the morning amid an ongoing heat wave, according to KTLA.
‘I called her and I texted her and she didn’t answer’
Chavez according to her landlord, Gloria Colocho, walked that trail with her two dogs every morning.
Colocho shared surveillance footage from her Nest camera showing what she claims is Chavez walking her dogs Wednesday morning.
‘I called her and I texted her and she didn’t answer, and the message was not delivered to the cell phone,’ Colocho said via ABC7. ‘I called her and it went straight to voicemail, and from there, I had this feeling that it was her. I checked my camera … she left around 7:30 a.m. and I see her with her two dogs, and she left the house and she hasn’t come back at all.’
The city warned its residents in the area to stay inside until the storm passed.
‘We should all be cautious with this activity that’s in the area,’ Carmona said. ‘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.’
Deaths by lightning are very rare in California.
There have only been nine fatalities in the state since 2006, and this was the first one this year.
Antonia Mendoza Chavez Pico Rivera lightning strike. Pictured, the last moments as captured by surveillance video.
The nation as a whole sees about six deaths by lightning through June 22 in an average year.
The odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are less than one in a million and only about 10% of all lightning strike victims do not survive, according to the CDC.
News of the tragedy was disturbing to residents in the area.
‘I’m scared,’ said Mary Perez, who lives in the area. ‘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.’