A man found dead at a Seminole construction site may have been struck by lightning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
At about 4:30 p.m., deputies responded to a call at a construction site located at 7245 102nd Lane North in Seminole.
Augustin Navarrete-Guerrero, 40, had been found face down on the ground. He was part of a crew with J.M. Stucco working on the construction of condominiums at the Bayou Grande Community.
Co-workers said he went to roll up his truck windows when it started to rain.
"And 15 minutes later he didn’t come back so they figured maybe he went to the restroom,” said Mercy Iturriaja, J.M. Stucco President.
When workers went to look for Navarrete-Guerrero, they found him lying unconscious by the truck. Paramedics weren't able to revive him.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said they aren't sure what happened to Navarrete-Guerrero but lightning is a possibility.
"He was surrounded by a puddle of water. It doesn't appear it would have been a direct hit but maybe some electrocution, some conduction of energy through his system but again that is not confirmed at this time,” said Barreda.
Residents said there was a lot of rain at the time, but they're not sure about a lightning strike.
"It sounded loud but I've been close to lightning before in New York and it raises your hairs off the top of your head and in the back,” said Daniel Ladonna, resident. “This didn't do that. It was real loud but it didn't seem like it was actually that close."
Co-workers describe Navarrete-Guerrero as a friendly, hard worker. He'd only been working for the company for about six months but co-workers said they already considered him part of the family.
"I just think we need to remember him as he was and not what happened to him,” Iturriaja said. “If we can remember the good times, his laugh, how he made us laugh, then we can go on."
The Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
Klystron 9 Radar's lightning detector shows one strike in that location. A lightning strike was also confirmed in that area by the National Weather Service.