Kern County man survives lightning strike

A Kern County man was injured by lightning while walking his dog and pushing a baby in a stroller early Wednesday, the same day a woman and her two dogs were killed after they died in Pico Rivera The authorities said they had been struck by lightning.

The unidentified man was struck by lightning while walking in his neighborhood in Ridgecrest, east of Bakersfield, according to the Ridgecrest Police Department. The man survived and the baby and dog were unharmed, police said.

When police arrived at the scene around 7:40 a.m., they found a person performing CPR on the unconscious man, Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin said. The man was eventually revived and taken to a local hospital.

His condition was not immediately known.

Less than two hours later and 150 miles south, 52-year-old Antonia Mendoza Chavez and her two dogs were struck by lightning in Pico Rivera and killed, authorities said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Chavez was walking on a trail along the San Gabriel River when she was struck by lightning just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to authorities. A passer-by first alerted emergency services after noticing Chavez on the ground, but first responders were unable to revive her upon arrival. Authorities identified several scorched holes that damaged a tarmac path where the lightning strike had occurred.

Chavez’s death was the nation’s first recorded lightning fatality that year, according to the National Lightning Safety Council. Fatal strikes are still fairly rare, but have occurred between 11 and 40 times a year for the past decade, according to the group.

Wednesday’s thunderstorms came earlier than the typical monsoon season in Southern California, said National Weather Service meteorologist David Sweet in Oxnard.

“Yesterday’s thunderstorms were well above the normal magnitude that would be seen in California at this time of year,” Sweet said.

Normally, the monsoon season doesn’t arrive until mid-July, which can bring thunderstorms and lightning strikes.

“We have this piece of advice, a kind of rhyme that people should remember: ‘If thunder rumbles, go inside.’ We’re talking about a good, sturdy building, or even a car can be a safe place in a thunderstorm,” Sweet said. Kern County man survives lightning strike

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