'Looked Like the Lightning Was Like Right on Him': 911 Call Details Lightning Strike That Killed 19-Year-Old Dad

Authorities have released an audio recording of a 911 call where a witness details seeing 19-year-old Ethan Lawrence getting struck and killed by lightning, according to NBC 6 and CBS News Miami

Published Time: 10.07.2024 - 09:31:22 Modified Time: 10.07.2024 - 09:31:22

Authorities have released an audio recording of a 911 call where a witness details seeing 19-year-old Ethan Lawrence getting struck and killed by lightning, according to NBC 6 and CBS News Miami.

Lawrence was fatally struck by lightning in Davie, Fla., on Sunday, June 30, just six months after welcoming his first child, daughter Emara, with his girlfriend, Andrea.

Lawrence, from Broward County, died at approximately 10:24 a.m. local time at Vista View Park, Davie Police Department previously confirmed to PEOPLE.

In the recently released call, a woman told the 911 operator, "I believe someone just got struck by lightning up on the hill. I saw lightning strike and somebody just fell down," per NBC 6. "I was leaving and a big thing of lightning came and I have not seen the person get up."

The woman added that she wasn't sure if he was hit due to her position on the hill.

"I was driving at the bottom of the hill to exit the park and a huge thing of lightning came. I saw a guy walking up on the hill and then all the sudden he was like down," she said. "It looked like the lightning was like right on him."

"It looked so scary and he just, the person just went down on the ground," she said, NBC 6 reports.

Davie Police Department previously confirmed to PEOPLE that after authorities received the 911 call and arrived to the scene, “they discovered an adult male deceased in the park.”

Lawrence's mother Lourdes told WSVN that she had sent her husband, Patrick, to look for their son after the location on his phone hadn't changed for hours.

“Then the detectives came over to my car and told me ‘I don’t know if there is any easy way to say this at all, so I’m just going to tell you that unfortunately, your son was running, he was struck by -

lightning and he didn’t make it,'" Patrick said, per WSVN.

Police confirmed the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office is assisting with the ongoing investigation.

The late teenager was previously a student at Jacksonville University on a cross-country scholarship but recently transferred to Nova Southeastern University to be with his girlfriend and baby, according to WTVJ.

Andrea, Ethan's girlfriend, told WSVN she was “still in shock. I am still trying to process it because of how it happened. In a matter of seconds, he texted me in the morning, ‘Good morning love, I woke up late today.'"

On Monday, July 8, Ethan's mother shared a heartfelt tribute to the “village” that raised Ethan, via Facebook.

“Ethan was not just my son; he was my best-friend, my confidant, my shining star, my pride, and my source of endless joy. From a young age, Ethan showed an incredible depth of empathy and understanding for all. Ethan’s kindness extended far beyond our family,” she wrote.

“He was always there for his friends, offering a listening ear and a comforting word. His teachers often spoke of his willingness to help others and his ability to bring a smile to anyone’s face.”

“He was my pride and joy and I can not believe that I’m gonna continue this life without him,” Lourdes previously told WSVN.

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The Lawrence family created a GoFundMe page on Thursday, July 4 to “keep Ethan's memory alive by supporting this scholarship fund.” As of publication, it's raised over $10,000 of its $50,000 goal.

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