Lake Worth woman killed by lightning strike in Parkland, fire department says

Posted at 2:46 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 22:07:52-04

A woman was killed and two other people were injured after a lightning strike Wednesday, according to officials.

Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department personnel were sent to Hendricks Farm in Parkland shortly after 2 p.m. and initially transported two patients in critical condition.

Officials say 53-year-old Maria Pascual of Lake Worth was working in the fields at 12210 Loxahatchee Rd. when she was struck by lightning. She was transported to Coral Springs Medical Center and pronounced dead by Coral Springs Parkland Fire Rescue. 

Two other people later identified as Blanca Alvarenga, who is in her 40s, and Alfonzo Ordonez who is in his 20s, were working near Pascual and suffered lightning-related injuries, according to a news release. 

Ordonez was transported to Broward Health North in serious condition. 

Alvarenga went to JFK Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. 

Both survivors are from Palm Beach County, deputies say.

“I just see the whole entire sky light up with lightning. I know how close it was because I saw it almost hit the ground,” Jenna Waddell said, who works at “I Heart Mac and Cheese” restaurant in the plaza across the street from the farm. 

Waddell arrived at work around 2 p.m. 

“I definitely knew something bad had happened. All the car alarms went off. I literally felt the ground shake. That’s how bad it was,” she said. 

The farm had no comment. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Homicide Detective Jeffrey Curtis at 954-321-4231 or the Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477. You can remain anonymous. 

So far in 2018, two people have died in the United States from lightning strikes, according to the National Weather Service.

For information on lightning safety, click here.