23 Aug 2014
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Update: 61-Year-Old Man Killed By Falling Church Debris

A pedestrian who was hit by falling debris when Christ Church was struck by lightning Thursday night passed away at the hospital.

Update: 61-Year-Old Man Killed By Falling Church Debris Update: 61-Year-Old Man Killed By Falling Church Debris

A pedestrian who was hit by falling debris when Christ Church tower was struck by lightning Thursday night died at the hospital, according to reports.

Richard Schwartz, 61, is considered the only fatality of Thursday night's thunderstorm, which began as a derecho in an upstate New York town.

while Schwartz was passing by. He was rushed to , where he passed away. It was unclear whether he had been struck by church stones or the scaffolding itself.

“It appears that there was a lightning strike that struck the steeple of the building,” FDNY Deputy Chief Vinny Mandela told the  Daily News. “It knocked several big blocks down.”

The city's Department of Buildings evacuated the church on Thursday night and continues to inspect the structure. Neighbors are encouraged to exercise caution walking nearby.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman expressed condolences on Friday morning, stating, "We mourn the untimely loss of one of our own."

For more than 25 years, Schwartz served as an antitrust lawyer in the Office of the Attorney General's economic justice division. He is survived by a wife and daughter.

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