FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KSEE/KGPE) – A man died after he was struck by lightning while hiking over the weekend, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 2 p.m. on Friday, the Sheriff’s Office says 37-year-old Nicholas Torchia of Fresno was hiking on the John Muir Trail near Muir Trail Ranch when thunderstorms rolled into the area.
Deputies say Torchia tried to shelter himself from the storm by leaning against a tree.
While Torchia was taking cover, a lightning bolt hit the tree he was under, causing him to fall to the ground.
Torchia reportedly told other hikers on the trail that he wasn’t feeling well before he became unconscious.
A doctor and nurse who were on the trail performed CPR on Torchia for three hours, but deputies say he ended up passing away.
A group of hikers moved Torchia to Blayney Meadows, where a California Highway Patrol helicopter was able to land and recover his body.
Torchia’s body was taken to the Fresno County Coroner’s Office, where doctors ruled his death to be electrocution caused by lightning.