According to authorities, 52-year-old Antonia Mendoza Chavez and her two dogs were killed by a lightning strike Wednesday morning.
Paramedics and police were called to the area of Rimbank and Mines avenues, near the San Gabriel River around 8:50 am
Pico Rivera City Manager Steve Carmona said Chavez was found on the path with her two dogs.
She had apparently been struck by the lightning as storms moved through Southern California in the morning.
Eyewitness News spoke with Gloria Colocho, who said she was Chavez’s landlord. She told ABC7 Chavez walked that trail every morning.
I put shared 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,” said Colocho. “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 am 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.”
RELATED: Thunder and lightning strike as storm sweeps through SoCal
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.
The nation as a whole sees about six deaths by lightning through June 22 in an average year.
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 .”
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