A 19-year-old roofing contractor is dead after being struck by lightning while working on a roof in Florida, according to ABC-affiliate WWSB.
Around 2:50 p.m. on Tuesday, roofing contractors with Colonial Roofing were working on the roofs of multiple apartments when they witnessed a flash and a loud bang. According to WWSB, the victim's brother, who was also on the roof, discovered his brother lying on the roof unconscious and not breathing. The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Jesus Olvera-Aguilar.
Neighbors on the scene performed CPR until emergency crews arrived. Unfortunately, life-saving efforts were unable to revive Olvera-Aguilar. Detectives with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office found evidence that Olvera-Aguilar was struck by lightning and ruled the incident as an accidental death.
Olvera-Aguilar's death is the 10th lightning-related fatality in the U.S. this year, according to the National Lightning Safety Council. Of them, two were related to roofing and construction. The council's data shows that 4% (16) of lightning-related fatalities from 2006 to 2020 were associated with roofing activities. Nine of those 16 deaths were in Florida.
National Lightning Safety Council data shows Florida has had the most lightning-related deaths in the U.S. with 47 fatalities between 2011 and 2020.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and OSHA recommend that employers and supervisors follow lightning safety best practices for workers whose jobs involve working outdoors, including seeking shelter in buildings or vehicles and avoiding isolated tall trees, hilltops, utility poles, cell phone towers, cranes, large equipment, ladders, scaffolding or rooftops when thunderstorms are present.