DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A 27-year-old is fighting for his life in the hospital after being struck by lightning. It happened while doing landscaping in New Smyrna Beach on Tuesday.
"I was like let’s just get this over with," said Luis Vasquez.
Vasquez and his cousin Julio were finishing up their last landscaping job of the day as storms started to roll in. As they rushed to finish, Julio began trimming near a Palm tree.
"The lightning struck, and he was right next to it so I got him too," said Vasquez.
Vasquez was just 20 feet away when he heard the lighting crack. Doctors believe the charge ran down the tree and into the ground. It then struck Julio’s foot and charged right through his body. Luis says the shock burnt Julio’s clothes and even the mask on his face.
"I turned him over and saw him. When I turned him over my first thought was he’s gone," said Vasquez.
Julio had stopped breathing so Luis and a neighbor jumped in to perform CPR
"It started pouring down rain," said Ed Williams. "We did not stop until the EMT showed up."
Luis says Julio went 20 minutes without oxygen before being revived. He’s now on life-support at Halifax hospital as they pray he holds on long enough for his parents to arrive from Mexico.
"Unfortunately, I think only a miracle can really save him," said Vasquez.
Luis and his family haven’t gotten much sleep since the accident. They are trying their best to save money knowing there is a long road ahead. They have started a GoFundMe and a Venmo (@cristaltlopez) account for anyone who can help them during this difficult time.