Suburban Woman Struck by Lightning, Seriously Injured

A 42-year-old teacher from Berwyn is in serious condition after being struck by lightning in a west Chicago suburb Thursday.

Jennifer Contreras, 42, was walking southbound in the 300 block of Janes Avenue around 2 p.m. in Bolingbrook when officials say she was struck.

Contreras' sister, Christina Bruno, said the Contreras, a mother of two, was watching their parents' house while they are out of the country.

"She was over to help my parents while they were in Mexico watching (the) house and stuff," Bruno said.

Jim White, who tried to help Contreras after she was struck, said she looked "lifeless."

"Her eyes were solid grey. Nothing I'd ever seen," he said. "Her ear was almost gone, bleeding like crazy. The earbud was disintegrated and melted."

Another man, Joe Ings, said he tried to keep injured woman conscious.

"I basically rolled her over, started CPR, tried to keep her awake," he said. 

Responding officers performed CPR until medics arrived, according to Lt. Carter Larry with the Bolingbrook Fire Department.

She was taken to a local hospital in serious condition.

On Thursday evening, Bruno held Ings in an emotional embrace.

"Say prayers for her, please," Bruno said.

Storms Thursday afternoon left thousands without power and flooded Chicago-area roadways.

According to ComEd, more than 3,150 customers reported no power in Cook County, 1,235 others were without power in DuPage and 1,105 had no power in McHenry.

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