The lone fatality of a lightning strike at Venice Beach on Sunday was identified by his uncle as 20-year-old Nick Fagnano, an incoming junior transfer student to USC, according to Southern California Public Radio, 89.3 KPCC.
Fagnano graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif. in 2012 and previously attended Santa Barbara City College.
Fagnano was swimming at Venice Beach Sunday afternoon shortly before 3 p.m. when lightning struck at the water’s edge. According to the KPCC report, seven others were injured by the strike, and one person was in critical condition at the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.
KTLA reported that Fagnano was found roughly an hour after he was hit and was transported to the Marina Del Rey Hospital, where he was later declared dead.
Fagnano’s parents told the Los Angeles Daily News that the chaos following the freak strike might have delayed their son’s treatment.
“There was so much commotion when the lightning struck on the beach, he was not one of those recovered in the first response,” Fagnano’s mother told the Daily News. “His friends were looking frantically for him, couldn’t find him. Half an hour after lightning struck, his body was found about 50 feet out.”
Fagnano was set to major in policy, planning and development at the Price School of Public Policy this fall at USC, according to a statement released Monday afternoon by the school.
Dean Jack H. Knott noted that Fagnano hoped to work on the development of Downtown Los Angeles and help to address the needs of the surrounding community.
“His goals truly embodied the mission of the Price School to improve the quality of life for people and their communities,” Knott wrote in a statement. “He left a lasting impression on all who came in contact with him at the Price School, and his presence will be greatly missed.”