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Landscapers hit by lightning near Phoenix making recovery

LISTEN: Thomas Mendoza

PHOENIX — Two Glendale landscapers who were struck by lightning during a
monsoon storm are recovering from their injuries.

Thomas Mendoza, 31, and Carlos Mungia, 17, were working
in a Phoenix yard when lightning hit them Monday morning.

A bystander said it was like “two shotguns” went off near his head.

Coworker Alan Chute said the two had been standing on the sidewalk
while he was on the dirt. Mendoza was knocked backward into a palm tree and
Mungia was slammed against a vehicle.

Chute drove the men to the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Integrated Health
System.

Mendoza said staff mistakenly believed he was in a car accident.

“I told them I got hit by lightning,” Mendoza told KTAR News’ Mac & Gaydos. “The receptionist was like, ‘Oh my gosh. What side of the car where you on?’ And I go, ‘Excuse me?’ And she said, ‘You got hit by a Ford Lightning, correct?’

“I said, ‘No.'”

Mendoza said staff told him his body temperature was 146 degrees when he arrived.

Mendoza said he couldn’t feel his lower body for several hours but was able to
take his first steps Tuesday morning. He spent two days in the hospital.

Mendoza and Mungia were expected to make full recoveries.