Nick Fagnano, a member of the Notre Dame High School Class of 2012, died July 27 from injuries suffered when lightning struck the ocean off of Venice Beach.
Fagnano, 20, had been on the beach with friends and reportedly re-entered the water to wash sand off when the lightning hit, part of a sudden electrical storm that produced a series of strikes. Some 13 people were injured, but Fagnano was the only one who died; his body was recovered about 50 feet from the shore about 30 minutes after the bolt hit the water.
A pitcher on Notre Dame’s baseball team, Fagnano attended community college in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, and was preparing to enter the University of Southern California for the fall 2014 semester, where he planned to study urban development.
The young man was active at St. Brendan Church in Hancock Park, where he had attended morning Mass before going to the beach that afternoon. He graduated from St. Brendan School before coming to Notre Dame.
In a statement to alumni, parents and friends on the Sherman Oaks school’s website, Notre Dame president Brett A. Lowart offered condolences on Fagnano’s passing.
“By all accounts, Nick was a wonderful and sweet young man who loved participating on the Knight baseball team throughout his high school years,” wrote Lowart. “He was also very involved in FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). We ask that you pray for the Fagnano family and his ND classmates (Alex Zamora, Brett Sesma) who were involved with this tragic accident.”
A vigil was scheduled July 29, 7 p.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church, North Hollywood.