3rd victim identified after lightning strike near White House

WASHINGTON — Three people have died and another was critically injured after an apparent lightning strike happened near the White House in Washington, D.C. Thursday, authorities said.

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Update 4:43 p.m. EDT Aug. 6: A third victim who was killed by lightning near the White House has been identified by his family and employer.

In a news release, City National Bank announced that Brooks Lambertson, of Los Angeles, died after being struck by lightning near Lafayette Square.

“Brooks was an incredible young man who will be remembered for his generosity, kindness and unwavering positivity,” City National Bank said in its release. “His sudden loss is devastating for all who knew him, and his family, friends and colleagues appreciate the thoughts and prayers that have poured in from around the country.”

Lambertson was a vice president at City National Bank, managing sponsorships for the company. He was in the nation’s capital on business, according to the release.

He previously worked for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers as the manager of partnership marketing. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation, parks and tourism administration with a concentration in sports management.

Update 4:50 p.m. EDT Aug. 5: An unidentified male, 29, has died from his injuries following Thursday evening’s lightning strike near the White House.

The fourth victim, a woman, remains in critical condition, according to WTTG.

Update 3:20 p.m. EDT Aug. 5: According to The Associated Press, the two people who died were identified as James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75 from Janesville, Wisconsin. Both died from their injuries after a lightning strike that happened Thursday in Lafayette Park.

The Muellers’ niece, Michelle McNett, told the Wisconsin State Journal that the couple were on a trip in Washington, D.C. to celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary. The couple had five children, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The other two victims, a man and a woman, remain in critical condition, according to the AP.

Update 8:36 a.m. EDT Aug. 5: According to WRC-TV, two of the four people who were injured after an apparent lightning strike near the White House on Thursday have died. Police told WRC-TV that the two who died were a couple from Wisconsin.

According to WTTG, the couple who died was an elderly couple. The U.S. Park Police and the Secret Service were some of the first people to witness the lightning strike at Lafayette Park.

Original report: The two men and two women, whose identities and were not immediately released, were found just before 7 p.m. in the center of Lafayette Park, north of the White House, The Washington Post reported. The victims were approximately 100 feet from the statue of Andrew Jackson, fire department spokesperson Vito Maggiolo told the newspaper.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area Thursday evening, according to ABC News.

Thunderstorms moved through the nation’s capital and surrounding areas at around 6:30 p.m. EDT, WRC-TV reported. Severe weather drenched parts of the region after a day of temperatures that rose into the mid-90s.

Chris Vagasky, an analyst for Vaisala, which operates a national lightning network, said in a message to the Post that there was a “six-stroke flash near the White House that hit the same point on the ground” at 6:49 p.m. EDT. Vagasky said that six individual surges of electricity hit the same point on the ground within half a second.

All four victims were hospitalized with injuries that were considered life-threatening, according to the newspaper. The actual cause of their injuries remains under investigation, police told the newspaper.

According to the National Weather Service, there have been nine lightning fatalities in 2022. According to the National Lightning Safety Council, the last fatality occurred on Tuesday in Teton County, Wyoming, when a man camping was struck while inside a tent.


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