Woman killed by lightning mourned by family, friends

A week ago, Janika Williams-Gardner, boyfriend Russell Scott and her three children were on a trip to Florida and planning a future together.

Now, Scott is helping plan her funeral after a lightning strike killed the 33-year-old Gwinnett County woman in Daytona Beach Shores last weekend.

“It was just a freak accident,” Scott told Channel 2 Action News on Friday.

About 5 p.m. last Friday, Scott and Williams-Gardner were getting out of the ocean, while the kids were at a hotel pool. The lightning bolt hit her while she was just 10 feet behind him, Scott told Channel 2.

“When I looked back, I could see her laying on the ground, and they were doing CPR on her,” he said.

She died shortly before midnight at a local hospital, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

Scott also was hit by the lightning and treated at a local hospital.

A woman who witnessed the incident captured cellphone footage of paramedics rushing to the beach behind a hotel, according to a report by WFTV in Orlando.

“Even the lifeguard would never have had any warning,” Julie Lucas said. “It was a random lightning bolt.”

The pastor at Solomon Porch Ministries in DeKalb County, which Williams-Gardner and Scott attended, is among those who are mourning her.

“That gives me comfort that Janika is in the arms of God now,” Phillip Mosby told Channel 2.