A lightning strike outside the White House on Thursday evening left four individuals in critical condition. The bolts struck Lafayette Park, and two adult males and two adult females were transported to local hospitals with critical injuries.
A CBS News crew caught the lightning strikes on video, prompting photographer Ron Windham to say, “That’s too close — we’re shutting down.”
The Washington Post weather affiliate reported that the Capitol would be experiencing “60 mph wind gusts and quarter-size hail possible as these storms move through, and of course heavy rain and dangerous lightning.”
The terrifying situation could have been much worse if it hadn’t been for the quick response by the Secret Service Uniformed Division and U.S. Park Police who immediately rushed to aid the injured individuals.
One witness, David Root, told local media that “We saw several people beside a tree, and they weren’t moving, and so I ran over there to try to help. Several people ran over there, and I gave him chest compressions with another person. We alternated.”
Another witness, Anna Mackiewicz, said that “We stood there, and suddenly there was this horrible sound. 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.”
Hopefully, all four individuals will pull through their life-threatening injuries.