A Donora woman was one of two teenagers struck and killed by lightning Thursday at a Westmoreland County park.
Westmoreland County Coroner Kenneth A. Bacha said Kaitlyn E. “Moe” Rosensteel of Chestnut Street and Brendan A. McGowan of Eastview Drive, North Huntingdon Township, were killed while fishing at Mammoth Park in Mt. Pleasant Township. Both victims were 18 years old.
Witnesses said they heard a loud crack about 4 p.m. and saw a large flash of light in the area of a lake where the victims were fishing, Bacha said.
They also discovered the victims under a large splintered tree at the lake off 254 County Park Road, he said.
Deputy Coroner Jonathon Jenkins pronounced both dead at the scene shortly after 5 p.m.
The victims suffered injuries consistent with being struck by lightning, Bacha said. Autopsies were to be conducted Friday by Dr. Cyril H. Wecht.
The official cause and manner of the deaths are pending.
Rosensteel was a 2019 graduate of Ringgold High School, and a member of its soccer team.
Ringgold issued a statement Friday on its website about having school social workers and counselors available from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friday and Monday at the high school.
“It is with great sadness that we share we tragically lost a member of our Ringgold Rams High School Class of 2019. Our deepest sympathy goes out to her family and friends,” the district said.
Meanwhile the deaths prompted the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh to issue a warning for people to go indoors or into a vehicle with its windows up if they see a thunderstorm approaching.
The service said and average of 30 people die each year in the United States from lightning strikes. The deaths Thursday bring that number to four this year in the nation.