WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. – Investigators on Friday released the 911 calls that came pouring into emergency dispatchers following a deadly lightning strike in Winter Springs.
At least 13 calls were made to 911 Thursday afternoon after lightning struck a tree in Trotwood Park, killing Nicole Tedesco and injuring her 10-year-old daughter, Ava, and another 18-year-old woman.
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Tedesco’s widower, Andrew Tedesco, works as a police officer at the Orlando Sanford International Airport, where a news conference was held Friday.
The strike occurred as students were being let out of Keeth Elementary, where Ava and her 8-year-old sister, Gia, attend school.
News 6 has decided not to put all of the 911 calls online as some may be considered too graphic or disturbing.
However, we are putting one of the calls online in its entirety as it was released to the media. In the recording, the caller can be heard trying to calm other children and get them into a car for their own safety.
You can hear the full call in the media player below. A word of warning, this audio may be disturbing to some listeners.
As the call begins, screaming can be heard in the background. The caller explains what happened and can then be heard telling others to get to safety.
“Get out of here now! Get out of here now,” the caller shouts to someone in the recording. “It’s OK, it’s OK. Get in the car, get in the car.”
Several of the callers to 911 can be heard saying, “There was a lightning strike, two people down.”
One caller described bystanders stepping in to perform CPR on one of the victims.
“We got a lightning strike, I actually felt it. Two people are down,” the caller can be heard saying to emergency dispatchers.
One of the callers to 911 claims to be caring for the dog that was also hurt in the lightning strike.
“I wanted to get my kid home and actually have the person’s dog (who) was taken away in an ambulance,” the caller said. “So I just want to make sure (police) have my address in case they need to come by.”
The caller said the dog suffered some burns from the lightning strike.
“Not horribly, he is walking around, which was good, but he definitely should probably receive some kind of medical attention,” the caller said to dispatchers.
The man said in the recording that he planned to take the dog to a veterinarian to get checked out.
Tedesco, who was rushed to the hospital Thursday, ultimately died from her injuries. Officials said the child and the 18-year-old woman were in stable condition.
Police said Tedesco and her two daughters had just left Keeth Elementary when the lightning strike occurred. Police initially believed that Tedesco was waiting on one of her daughters to be released from school when the strike happened. Gia was not injured, officials said Friday.
Seminole County Public Schools released a statement Thursday, saying:
“This afternoon one of our Seminole County Public Schools’ students from Keeth Elementary and a member of their family were involved in a weather-related event. Shortly after the scheduled start of dismissal, a rapidly developing storm resulted in the immediate suspension of dismissal procedures. Unfortunately, the Keeth Elementary Cougar and their parent were struck by lightning at/near Trotwood Park. Emergency responders transported both the student and parent for treatment.
“Seminole County Public Schools and Keeth Elementary School remain committed to the safety and security of all students and will continue to take safety precautions in the event of inclement weather. Additional counselors will be on campus to support students and/or staff impacted by this event. Our thoughts are with the families, students, and staff.”
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