Lightning strike near White House leaves 3 dead, 1 injured

Aug 5, 2022, 6:44 AM | Updated: 4:26 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — A husband and wife from Wisconsin celebrating more than five decades of marriage were killed in a lightning strike outside the White House. A third victim was pronounced dead Friday evening, and one other is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, of Janesville, Wisconsin, died of their injuries after the lightning strike Thursday in Lafayette Park, located directly outside the White House complex, the Metropolitan Police Department said Friday.

A third victim, a 29-year-old adult male, was pronounced dead Friday. The fourth person, a woman, was in critical condition, the police department said. Their identities were not immediately released.

Authorities did not reveal how the people were injured, other than to say they were critically hurt in the lightning strike.

The Muellers were on a trip to Washington, D.C., to celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary, according to their niece, Michelle McNett of Janesville.

“They were a very loving couple,” McNett told the Wisconsin State Journal. “They were very, very family oriented. I think everyone’s just in shock right now and kind of request privacy.”

The couple had five children, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, she told the paper.

Donna Mueller was a teacher and in retirement worked at the Comfort Shoppe, a local furniture store. Jim, 76, was a retired contractor who had his own drywall business.

McNett said she’s not sure why the couple picked the nation’s capital for their vacation, but added that “Donna was a constant learner.”

The husband and wife, according to their niece, loved having gatherings and just had a big family gathering a couple of weeks ago.

“They were very religious,” she said. “Just the kind of people who would give the shirt off their back to do anything for you, both of them.”

Officers with the Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police witnessed the lightning strike Thursday night and ran over to render first aid, officials said. Emergency medical crews were called to the scene just before 7 p.m. and had transported all of the victims to the hospital with “critical, life-threatening injures,” fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said.

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones, and we are praying for those still fighting for their lives.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Haitian migrant Gerson Solay, 28, carries his daughter, Bianca, as he and his family cross into Can...
Associated Press

US, Canada to end loophole that allows asylum-seekers to move between countries

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a plan to close a loophole to an immigration agreement.
2 days ago
Expert skateboarder Di'Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and...
Associated Press

Indigenous skateboard art featured on new stamps unveiled at Phoenix skate park

The Postal Service unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists.
2 days ago
(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
8 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
16 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
16 days ago
Tom Brundy points to a newly built irrigation canal on one of the fields at his farm Tuesday, Feb. ...
Associated Press

Southwest farmers reluctant to idle farmland to save water

There is a growing sense that fallowing will have to be part of the solution to the increasingly desperate drought in the West.
23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...
Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Lightning strike near White House leaves 3 dead, 1 injured