Jennie Dizon, 17, who was discovered not breathing in Downers Grove’s O’Brien Park Thursday afternoon, was pronounced dead at the scene and the DuPage County Coroner’s office ruled her death to be “consistent with a lightning strike,” reports NBC Chicago.
The Benet Academy high school senior was scheduled to graduate Sunday.
“It was God’s will,” her father, Eric Dizon, said Friday.
Dozin had dropped her younger brother and sister, Emmeline Dizon at a dental office and probably went to the park to journal, according to her parents. When she didn’t come back to pick them up, her family became concerned, but did not suspect anything was seriously wrong until police came to their door.
Walking home, Emmeline saw ambulances in the park but walked right by her sister without even knowing it.
“Benet Academy is mourning the loss of senior Jennie Dizon, who passed into eternal life last evening, apparently having been struck by lightning during a thunderstorm,” school officials said in a statement posted online. “Throughout the day today, Benet’s chaplain, campus minister, counselors, administrators, and teachers have been available in the chapel, in their offices, in classrooms, and throughout the school building to offer assistance, comfort, and consolation to our students and members of the school community. Please join the entire Benet Family in remembering Jennie and the Dizon family in prayer.”
There have been 6 lightening fatalities in the United States this year, according to the National Weather Service. Jennie became the second victim from Illinois, the first being Jonathon Olisio, 29, who died in a boat on a river while fishing.
According to the U.S. National Weather Service, 73 people die from lightning strikes each year and hundreds more suffer life-debilitating injuries.