Chicago, IL – A Downers Grove teen killed by lightning mere days before her high school graduation has caused a massive outpouring of grief by family and friends online.
Jennie Dizon, 17, was struck by lightning during Thursday’s storm, which resulted in her death. Officials said that her death was “consistent with a lightning strike” after she was found unconscious and not breathing in O’Brien Park, at 68th Street and Dunham Road in the early evening.
Dizon was pronounced dead at the scene.
The young high school senior was set to graduate from the Benet Academy on Sunday. Post-graduation, she was planning to study theater at the University of Cincinnati after a short trip to Europe.
Her father, Eric, called her death “God’s will” in a statement Friday.
The family believes that Dizon had gone to the park to write in the journal she frequently kept up with. A witness saw lightning strike, and then saw the teen on the ground. The witness then went to help Dizon, but she was unresponsive.
The Benet Academy released the following statement in light of Dizon’s death:
“Benet Academy is mourning the loss of senior Jennie Dizon, who passed into eternal life last evening, apparently having been struck by lightning during a thunderstorm.
“Throughout the day today, Benet’s chaplain, campus minister, counselors, administrators, and teachers have been available in the chapel, in their offices, in classrooms, and throughout the school building to offer assistance, comfort, and consolation to our students and members of the school community. Please join the entire Benet Family in remembering Jennie and the Dizon family in prayer.”
Others who knew the teen have expressed their grief on social media:
RIP #JennieDizon you were a good friend and a wonderful person. You are in a better place now.
— it’s Todd…¿¿¿¿¿¿ (@AubreTodd) June 1, 2013
Omg. UnbelievablePray for #JennieDizon
— Hannah Harvard (@hannahharvard) May 31, 2013
— Kyle Tesoro (@kyletesoro) May 31, 2013
According to the National Weather Service, lightning strikes kill as many as 70 people a year in the United States, and injure more than 500.