Seminole County

‘Tragic’: Woman killed by lightning strike in Seminole County identified

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. — Investigators identified the woman killed by a lightning strike in Seminole County as a mother of two and wife of an Orlando Sanford International Airport police officer.

Officers said Nicole Tedesco died Thursday after lightning struck a tree she, her daughter Ava, 10, and their dog Vito were standing under.


The Winter Springs community showed up with flowers to Trotwood Park to pay their respects to Nicole, who was picking up her daughters from school at Keeth Elementary School when the storm blew in.

Ava was released from Arnold Palmer Hospital on Friday, and Vito was released from the veterinarian’s office after observation.

“This is a tragic, tragic incident,” Winter Springs Police Chief Matthew Tracht said Friday during a news conference at Orlando Sanford International Airport.

Read: Mother dies, child hurt after lightning strikes tree in Winter Springs, police say

Tracht said he’s never seen something like this happen in his 25-year law enforcement career.

Officials said Nicole’s husband, Andrew Tedesco, has worked for the airport’s police force since April 2021.

Photos: Child hurt, mother dies after lightning strikes tree in Winter Springs, police say

Police chief Tom Fuehrer said the family is “overwhelmed with kindness and support” but asking for privacy to grieve.

The airport started a GoFundMe for the family. You can click here to donate.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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