Pinoy killed by lightning in New Jersey

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Aug 21 2012 03:06 PM | Updated as of Aug 22 2012 10:06 PM

EAST RUTHERFORD , N.J. – Residents of the New Jersey suburb of East Rutherford are grieving after a well-loved Filipino hospital worker was killed after he got struck by lightning.

New Jersey Police say 41-year-old hospital worker Sebastian Castillo was with his son on a fishing trip in the Long Branch, New Jersey area, an hour away from his East Rutherford home.

After a series of bad weather and thunderstorms in the area, Castillo was believed to have been struck by lightning last Wednesday night.

Reports say his ten-year-old son ran to a nearby house and called 911. Castillo was then rushed to a nearby hospital where he reportedly died on Thursday.

"We’re just distraught, devastated. We’re all shocked and numbed at this point, very tragic," said Castillo’s neighbor Donna Chirichella.

Neighbors say the Castillo immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager and moved to the area around 2005. He was known as one of the friendliest people on the block.

The father of four had a reputation in the neighborhood for cooking Filipino barbecue in his backyard and organizing block parties.

"He drew a lot of people in, if you like to have a good time, Sebastian was the man. He always invited everyone over. He had impromptu barbecues all the time his specialty was barbecue and fishing," recalled Chirichella.

There was no answer at his family’s East Rutherford home, and they have yet to speak to any local media. His wife has not responded to messages.

According to Chirichella, memorial services will take place on Thursday at a nearby Catholic church.