A third person died after lightning hit a tree near the White House late last week in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Park.
The third victim is a male, 29, and joins James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller 75 — a married couple visiting D.C. from Janesville, Wisconsin — in the overall death toll.
“The Muellers’ niece said that the pair were semi-retired high school sweethearts visiting D.C. for their 56th wedding anniversary,” WTOP reported. “James Mueller owned a drywall business; Donna Mueller was a teacher, and they had five children, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.”
No other information was reportedly provided about the third victim by local law enforcement. A fourth victim, an adult woman, is in critical condition.
“A spokesperson for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, Vito Maggiolo, said Thursday night that agency personnel found the victims with “critical, life-threatening” injuries in Lafayette Square shortly before 7 p.m. ET.” according to NBC News.
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Apparent lightning strike Lafayette Park NW. #DCsBravest on scene in the process of treating and transporting 4 patients, all in critical condition. pic.twitter.com/1jyCh44Q2n
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) August 4, 2022
“The four individuals — two adult men and two adult women — were transported to hospitals in critical condition, Maggiolo said.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement in response to the tragedy shortly before her Friday press briefing.
“Okay, let me first say: This is the People’s House. It should be a place all can see. We are saddened by the tragic loss of life after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park last night. Our hearts are with the families who lost lives — who lost loved ones. And we are praying for those still fighting for their lives.
“The National Park Service and local law enforcement have been providing updates, and I would direct you to them for any additional information.”
These are the moments when the nation can put aside politics and come together to help those in need.