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Associated Press
Lifeguards assist a person who was in the water and apparently struck by lightning Sunday at Venice Beach in Los Angeles.

1 dead as California lightning strikes 14

– Lightning struck 13 people at a popular beach in Los Angeles and another man golfing on Catalina Island, killing one person and leaving two critically injured on Sunday, authorities said.

Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said a 20-year-old man was taken from the beach and pronounced dead at a hospital. Dietz said he could not confirm whether the man was a swimmer who was pulled from the water and given CPR.

A 15-year-old was among those hit by lightning at Venice Beach about 2:30 p.m., city fire spokeswoman Katherine Main said. Four people were treated at the scene and the rest were taken to hospitals, where one was listed in grave condition and another in critical condition, she said.

Stuart Acher said he was struck while playing volleyball on the beach.

“We went about our game and then all of a sudden, there was a big flash of light and a boom, and it felt like someone punched me in the back of my head,” he told KABC-TV. “It went down my whole side of my right body, and my calves sort of locked up, and I fell over. And I looked up and everybody else was, you know, falling over.”

Paramedics examined Acher, but he felt fine and went back to playing volleyball.

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.

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