Woman and Her 2 Dogs Killed by Lightning Strike After Storms Swept Over Southern California

·2 min read
Lighting strikes to the West over the Oxnard plain as seen from Thousand Oaks as rain, thunder and lightning hit the southland by surprise Monday October 4, 2021
Lighting strikes to the West over the Oxnard plain as seen from Thousand Oaks as rain, thunder and lightning hit the southland by surprise Monday October 4, 2021

Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A woman and her two dogs were struck and killed by lightning while walking in Southern California, according to authorities.

On Wednesday morning, the woman — who was identified by ABC 7 as Antonia Mendoza Chavez — was walking with her pets along the San Gabriel River in Pico Rivera when the incident occurred, authorities told KTLA.

Chavez was found deceased alongside her two canines when police responded to a call about her around 8:50 a.m. local time, per the outlet.

"It was a female Hispanic adult who had been struck by lightning and did not survive her injuries," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Jonathan Branham told CBS News in a statement. "She was walking two dogs and the dogs were also deceased."

A representative for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Investigators on the scene where a woman and her two dogs were killed by an apparent lightning strike along the San Gabriel River & Bike Trail in Pico Rivera on Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Investigators on the scene where a woman and her two dogs were killed by an apparent lightning strike along the San Gabriel River & Bike Trail in Pico Rivera on Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Christina House / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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The lightning from the storm traveled through Southern California due to a monsoonal storm that was originally formed in Baja California, CBS Los Angeles reported.

The last time someone was killed by a lightning strike in Southern California was in 2014, according to Fox 11.

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Lightning strike
Lightning strike

Getty Images

Pico Rivera City Manager Steve Carmona said in a statement that residents should remain cautious amid thunderstorms.

"Today's incident is a strong reminder that people and organizations must exercise extreme caution and stay indoors a much as possible during a thunderstorm," he said on Wednesday, per Fox 11. "While lightning strikes are rare in Southern California, they occurred frequently overnight with over 3,700 lightning strikes recorded in the region."

Carmona also advised residents to "Be cautious, be careful," adding: "There's a high activity of thunderstorms in the area. This is a tragic incident. But again, we just caution the residents just to be careful."