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Lightning at L.A. beach kills man

LOS ANGELES — A 20-year-old man died Sunday after lightning struck 13 people at a popular Los Angeles beach and a golfer on Catalina Island during rare summer thunderstorms that swept through Southern California, authorities said.

The man was taken from Venice Beach and pronounced dead at a hospital Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said. His identity was not released.

Dietz did not know the cause of death and couldn't confirm whether the man was a swimmer pulled from the water and given CPR by lifeguards.

Thirteen people, including a 15-year-old boy, were jolted by lightning on the beach, in the water and on the famed Venice Beach boardwalk. Nine were taken to hospitals, where one remained in critical condition, authorities said.

Most of the others were mainly shaken up and expected to recover, fire officials said.

Steve Christensen said his friend had been body-surfing and was sitting on the beach when lifeguards began searching for a missing swimmer.

"He (Christensen's friend) went out to the water to find him and walked right into him," Christensen said. "He was face down on the bottom."

Christensen said his friend pulled the man, who appeared to be in his 20s, from the water, and lifeguards began CPR before taking him away on a truck.

"The guy wasn't moving. He wasn't responding at all," Jesus Zamudio of Riverside told the Los Angeles Times.

On Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, off the coast, a 57-year-old man was struck by lightning on a golf course and was hospitalized in stable condition, said Steve Denning, a law enforcement technician with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Pedestrians and beachgoers stand on the shore near Venice Beach as lifeguards, right, bring in a swimmer rescued from the water after a lightening strike Sunday  in Los Angeles. [Associated Press]

Pedestrians and beachgoers stand on the shore near Venice Beach as lifeguards, right, bring in a swimmer rescued from the water after a lightening strike Sunday in Los Angeles. [Associated Press]

Lightning at L.A. beach kills man 07/27/14 [Last modified: Monday, July 28, 2014 12:21am]
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