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Venice Beach Lightning Strike Leaves One Dead, One In Critical Condition

Sun, July 27, 2014 10:00pm EDT by 1 Comment
Venice Beach Lightning Strike
Courtesy of Instagram

A 20-year-old swimmer named Nick Fagnano was killed and another person remains in critical condition after a frightening lightning strike at Southern California’s Venice Beach. has the exclusive details from the scene.

California’s Venice Beach was subjected to a deadly and rare lightning strike on Sunday afternoon, July 27. The lightning strike killed a 20-year-old swimmer, Nick Fagnano. Seven other people were struck by lightening, including a person who remains in critical condition. has exclusive details from eyewitnesses who detail the scary aftermath.

Venice Beach Lightning Strike Leaves One Dead, One Critical Condition

Nick did not survive the deadly lightening strike that sent electrical currents thru the Pacific Ocean. The coroner’s office later confirmed that he had died as a result of being struck by lightening.

“Lifeguards tried to resuscitate the swimmer”, eyewitness Stephen Clark tells EXCLUSIVELY. “There were a bunch of bystanders on the Venice Beach Pier trying to locate the swimmer who had gone missing after the lightening struck. Lifeguards were frantically swimming in the water looking for him, with helicopters above. He was found underwater by a person on the beach and the lifeguards helped pull him to shore. He was immediately given CPR by a lifeguard and put on a stretcher. He was in cardiac arrest. We all prayed for him.”

Nick was the only son of Mary and Jay Fagnano and he had been planning to start college at the University of Southern California in the fall. Nick clearly believe in living life to the fullest, as one of his last tweets was:

So tragic. Seven other people were struck by lightening, including a 15-year-old boy — all were taken to a nearby hospital.

The lightning struck down at 2:51 p.m. (5:51 p.m. ET), Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main said, according to CNN.

“I was walking in the Venice Beach boardwalk when the lightening struck, the thunder sounded like a bomb went off. It was so loud and so scary. All the car alarms went off. I never imagined that anyone would get hurt or injured but then I saw all of these helicopters and fire trucks,” Margaret Powell tells “I spoke to a woman who was bike riding and she said could feel electricity in her elbow and her muscles were hurting.”

A resident from the Venice Beach area saw the lightning strike happen right before his eyes.

“We saw the lightning hit right by the post office,” the resident detailed. “The power lines all crackled at the same time. It was a loud, buzzing sound no one had ever heard before. It was so loud that we all ran outside, everyone was freaking out. We were all talking about how we’ve never heard that type of sound before.”

We will continue to keep you updated with any new details on the condition of the surfer.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased swimmer, the person who remains in critical condition and all those affected by the lightening strike.

— Written by Avery Thompson, Reporting by Sandra Clark

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