'My Pride and Joy': Dad, 19, Dies in Lightning Strike 6 Months After Becoming a Father

A 19-year-old man is dead after being hit by a lightning strike in Davie, Florida just six months after becoming a father

Published Time: 02.07.2024 - 14:31:04 Modified Time: 02.07.2024 - 14:31:04

A 19-year-old man is dead after being hit by a lightning strike in Davie, Florida just six months after becoming a father.

On Sunday, June 30, Ethan Lawrence died while running at Vista View Park, per outlets including WTVJ, WSVN, and WPLG.

According to CBS News, lightning was reported in the area around 10:20 a.m. local time. The outlet added that a witness saw Ethan fall to the ground during the incident.

Davie Police Department and Davie Fire Rescue didn't immediately respond when contacted by PEOPLE.

Per WSVN, Ethan became a dad after his girlfriend Andrea Lares gave birth to a baby girl called Emara on Dec. 11, 2023.

According to WTVJ, the late teenager had been attending Jacksonville University on a cross-country scholarship but had recently transferred to Nova Southeastern University to be with his girlfriend and baby. He was also a regular runner, the outlet reported.

“He was my pride and joy and I can not believe that I’m gonna continue this life without him,” Ethan's mother, Lourdes Lawrence, said, per WSVN.

“We don’t understand why, but the only thing that gives me comfort is he died doing what he loved," she added. “Cross country runner, track runner, volleyball player, got recruited to Jacksonville University and he was doing amazing.”

Andrea, Ethan's girlfriend, said she was “still in shock," according to the outlet. "I am still trying to process it because of how it happened. In a matter of seconds," she added. "He texted me in the morning ‘Good morning love, I woke up late -

today.' "

The outlet reported that Lourdes had sent her husband, Patrick, to look for Ethan 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, Ethan’s father, said, per the publication.

“I’m so grateful and thankful that I had 19 beautiful years with my son," Lourdes shared, according to WTVJ,

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"We had an unbreakable bond, he would text me every morning in college, as a college student, 'Good morning momma, I’m on my way to run with the team,' 'Hey mom, I’m back from running with the team, my legs feel like bricks' — just telling me his day, Facetiming me, calling me," she continued.

“I gave my son, when he graduated, a gold chain with a cross," Lourdes said, per the outlet, adding that Ethan had led her to "where he was struck" when they visited the park after his death.

"I saw the hole in the ground and I looked down and my husband said look, there’s his cross. That’s him telling me, 'Mom, I’m ok, I’m ok, you be ok,' " she said.

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