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Florida mother killed by lightning strike while waiting to pick up child from school

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Authorities in central Florida said a woman was killed after being struck by lightning while waiting in a park to pick up her child from elementary school.

The incident occurred Thursday amid inclement weather at about 2:40 p.m. at Trotwood Park near Keeth Elementary School in Winter Springs, located just north of Orlando.

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Capt. Doug Seely of the Winter Springs Police Department told reporters during a press conference that the woman was standing by a tree with one of her children when the lightning strike occurred.

"While they were waiting a lightning strike came down and energized the area, which required them to be taken to the hospitals for treatment," he said.

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A dog was also impacted by the strike and was transported to a local veterinary clinic, he said.

In a statement, the police department confirmed that a child and the child's mother were struck by lighting and transported to an area hospital.

"Sadly, the mother passed away from the injuries. The child and K9 have been seen by medical professionals and are doing fine."

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The names of victims have not yet been released.

"The city is respecting the privacy of the family due to the unfortunate passing of the mother," the police department said in a separate statement. "City staff extends our deepest condolences to the family and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

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Seminole County Public Schools confirmed in a statement that students from Keeth Elementary School and their mother were involved in the "weather-related event."

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"Shortly after the scheduled start of dismissal, a rapidly developing storm resulted in the immediate suspension of dismissal procedures," it said. "Unfortunately, the Keeth Elementary Cougar and their parent were struck by lighting."

Additional counselors will be deployed to the school's campus due to the incident to offer support to impacted students and staff, it said.

"Our thoughts are with the families, students and staff."

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