2 Killed in Lightning Strike Near the White House

2 others are in critical condition
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2022 7:55 PM CDT
Updated Aug 5, 2022 9:09 AM CDT
Lightning Strikes 4 People in Lafayette Park
Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, reopens in a limited capacity in Washington in May 2021.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This story has been updated with new developments. Two of the four people critically injured in an apparent lightning strike near the White House Thursday evening have died, authorities say. Police identified them as Wisconsin residents Donna Mueller, 75, and James Mueller, 76, the Washington Post reports. Authorities say the four people were in Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, in a grove of trees about 100 feet from the Andrew Jackson statue in the center of the square. The other two people, a man and a woman, are still in critical condition. Authorities say Secret Service and US Park Police officers who saw the lightning strike rushed to help the victims.

The park was closed after the strike, per WTOP, with emergency vehicles lined up along a White House fence. A severe thunderstorm had rolled through the area just before the lightning strike. Witnesses who took cover from the heavy rain said they heard a loud boom and saw the strike. "We stood there, and suddenly there was this horrible sound,” Anna Mackiewicz, a visitor from Poland, told NBC Washington. "We started to scream, and my husband said, ‘Just let’s run away.’ I saw in the corner of my eye. I saw, you know, the light." (Read more lightning strike stories.)

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