WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Late Friday afternoon, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said the third of four people hurt in a lightning strike near the White House Thursday had died from his injuries.
MPD said he was 29 years old.
First responders filled Lafayette Park NW on Thursday night when DC Fire and EMS treated then took four people — two men and two women — to the hospital after the lightning strike. At the time, their injuries all were considered critical.
Shortly before 9 a.m. Friday, August, 5, police said two of the victims had died. They were James (“Jim”) and Donna Mueller, both in their 70s, They were visiting from Wisconsin.
The Muellers’ niece, Michelle McNett, said they were high school sweethearts who loved to travel. They were in D.C. on a trip to celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary.
“Family was just very important to them,” McNett said. “They would give you the shirt off their back.”
McNett said Jim and Donna were “semi-retired.” Jim owned his own drywall business for 25 years. Donna retired from teaching and had been working at a furniture store part-time.
The Muellers are survived by five children, 10 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and other relatives, including McNett.
“They were just really good people and would do anything for anybody,” McNett said.
McNett said she had gotten especially close with her aunt and uncle in recent months. McNett’s dad — Donna Mueller’s brother — had cancer. The couple was there for McNett and her family frequently during the months before her father’s death in May.
“I think it’s just kind of a comfort that he’s waiting there for them.”
She is asking for prayers and, if you can, for you to wave a flag in their honor.
“Donna and Jim were so well loved that it’s just shown us that even through tragedy… once we come together we can we can get through anything.”