1 dead, 2 injured in lightning strike

2 survivors expected to live

MIAMI - A lightning strike killed one man and injured two others in Southwest Miami-Dade Monday. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said the men were outside a home at 21200 Southwest 172nd Avenue when a storm passed through Monday afternoon. 

According to Janet Suarez, the property owner, the men were pressure cleaning a tractor trailer that is kept on the property. 

As the storm approached, fire officials said the men took cover by crouching under the trailer when lightning struck nearby, knocking all three to the ground. 

"We went outside and all three of them were on the ground," Suarez said. 

Suarez and her son, 16-year-old Dominic Rodriguez, said they ran to the trailer to help the men. 

Rodriguez said he tended to one of the men who was still conscious and alert. 

"I put my hand behind his head because he was bleeding, and then I was just there trying to hold him down," Rodriguez said. 

For one man, who Suarez identified as Andres Telles, there was nothing anyone could do. Telles died on scene. 

"According to rescue, he was taking his last gasp. There was nothing I could do," Suarez said. 

Investigators late Monday were still trying to determine where the lightning struck exactly. 

"We're still investigating on whether the individuals were directly struck by the lightning," said Miami-Dade police detective Robin Pinkard. 

The two survivors were taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center and are expected to survive. 

Suarez said all three men were hard-working and frequently worked on big-rigs on her property. She said she rented a room to Telles, who she considered family. 

"They're hard-working guys. They drive trucks. When they're not driving, they're out here doing mechanical work. As any truck driver knows, you don't just drive back and forth, it's seven days a week they come out here, and clean their trucks every day," she said. 

"I don't know. It just doesn't feel real to me but I have to believe it," Rodriguez said. 

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