(EMPORIA, Kan.) — The Coffey County Sheriff's office confirms that Patti Gilliam, a teacher at Emporia High School, died Saturday after being struck by lightning.
The Sheriff’s office says on September 10th Gilliam was riding her bike on top of the John Redmond Reservoir Dam when the weather turned bad.
Police say Gilliam turned around and was heading home when she was hit by lightning. She was by herself but other people around saw what happened and called 911. Emergency crews say they were called at 6:21 p.m.
The Coffey County Undersheriff said it was a “freak storm” and that there were no warnings. Gilliam was taken to the Coffey County Hospital and then taken to Topeka.
Gilliam taught Spanish classes since 2006 and was the advisor for the school's hispanic organization.
"She was like a mother to me and it's just sad she's not here anymore," said Nancy Cervantes, a student at Emporia High School.