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2 dead, 7 hurt in California lightning storm

Image: lightning strike
A lightning strike at the Southern California Golf Association Golf Course on Wednesday in Temecula, Calif. Lightning and rain caused a delay at the CIF/SCGA championship at the golf course. Frank Bellino / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A woman walking under a tree was struck and killed by lightning, in one of thousands of strikes that injured seven others as a gusty storm pounded California. Another woman was killed by a falling tree.

Authorities said Tina Bond, 40, was killed by a bolt Wednesday afternoon as she walked along a sidewalk in Fontana, east of Los Angeles.

Police Sgt. Jeff Decker said the bolt blew out the bottoms of the victim's shoes and hurled some of her clothing 30 feet away.

National Weather Service meteorologist James Oh said there was at least one lightning strike every minute for a couple of hours Wednesday in San Bernardino County, where both deaths and most of the injuries occurred.

Northern California received more than 1,000 lightning strikes from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the weather service said.

In the San Bernardino Mountains, wind blew a tree onto a car and killed driver Elena Martinez, 31, said Big Bear Lake fire spokeswoman Michelle Caldwell.

Firefighters were working on about 22 small fires in the mountainous San Bernardino Forest on Thursday. Lightning ignited the blazes Wednesday. The largest was contained at 150 acres above the city of Highland.