Authorities reported a fatal lightning incident involving a hiker who attempted to take shelter during a storm while he was hiking in the Northern California mountains.
According to a report of the Fresno Bee on Monday, 37-year-old Nicholas Tochia was electrocuted Friday afternoon in a far area close to the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada.
“Torchia took cover by leaning against a tree,” said Tony Botti, Fresno County sheriff’s spokesman. “A tree which was then struck by a lightning bolt. Torchia fell to the ground. His fellow hikers came to check on him and he told them he didn’t feel well and then became unconscious.”
Botti said a doctor and a nurse responded to the scene to give first aid to the patient. They administered CPR for three hours but Torchia failed to survive.
Apart from the victim, no one else was injured in the incident.
Lightning strikes fatalities are not common. According to the storm events database of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, a total of 14 deaths were reported in the state between 1950 and this April.
In Fresno County, sheriff’s Search and Rescue team’s Lt. Kathy Curtice said she cannot remember any fatal lightning incident. People who are stuck in a thunderstorm are recommended to fall down to lower ground and remain far from materials that allow electricity flow, Curtice told Bee, as reported by SFGate.