Lightning strikes near White House kills Wisconsin couple, injures 2 others – National

A Wisconsin husband and wife who have been celebrating more than five decades of marriage have been killed in a lightning strike outside the White House. Two others remained hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, of Janesville, Wisconsin, died from their injuries after lightning struck Lafayette Park, which is directly in front of the White House complex, the Metropolitan Police Department said on Friday.

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The other two people, a man and a woman, were in critical condition after Thursday night’s lightning strike, police said. Their identities were not immediately released.

Authorities did not disclose how the people were injured, other than that they were seriously injured in the lightning strike.

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According to her Janesville niece, Michelle McNett, the Muellers were on a trip to Washington, DC to celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary.

“They were a very loving couple,” McNett told the Wisconsin State Journal. “They were very, very family oriented. I think everyone is in shock right now and asking for privacy.”

The couple have five children, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, she told the newspaper.

Donna Mueller was a retired teacher who worked at the Comfort Shoppe, a local furniture store. Jim, 76, was a retired contractor who ran his own drywall business.

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McNett said she wasn’t sure why the couple chose the nation’s capital for their vacation, but added that “Donna was a constant learner.”

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The husband and wife, according to their niece, loved to have get togethers and just a few weeks ago had a big family reunion.

“They were very religious,” he said. “Just the kind of people who would give their shirt off their backs to do anything for the both of you.”

Secret Service and U.S. Park Police officers witnessed the lightning strike Thursday night and ran over to administer first aid, officials said. Rescue workers were called to the scene just before 7 p.m. and took all the victims to the hospital with “life-threatening injuries,” said fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo.

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life following the lightning strike in Lafayette Park,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Our hearts are with the families who have lost loved ones and we pray for those who are still fighting for their lives.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press Lightning strikes near White House kills Wisconsin couple, injures 2 others – National


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