New Jersey matron of honor killed
August 23, 2007
Howell, New Jersey-A joyous wedding rehearsal dinner turned into
a tragedy when the bride's matron of honor and best friend was struck
and killed by lightning.
Cindy Osler, 45, was struck by lightning and killed in the parking
lot of the Ivy League Restaurant on Route 9 in Howell Township,
as she and best man, Dave Tarnowski stepped outside shortly after
8 p.m. on Friday to check their car windows as a late summer thunderstorm
"I was standing right there next to her, she said she was going
back to get sweaters from the car, Tarnowski said. "Everybody
was so happy, and then it became a nightmare."
Tarnowski was walking back toward the
restaurant when a piercing crack ripped through the air and knocked
him to his knees. As his head pounded, he stood up and looked behind
him only to see Osler lying face down in the middle of the parking
lot that was now marked by chunks of asphalt debris from where the
bolt of lightning had torn through the pavement.
As Tarnowski ran to help Osler, he
remembered thinking that she was scared, but then he turned her
over and saw that her eyes had gone blank.
Emergency crews reported to the scene, but were unable to revive
Osler. She was transported to CentraState Medical Center in Freehold
Township, where she was pronounced dead at 9:01 p.m., police said.
The bride-to-be, Lisa Lecompte, said
"When I realized it was her, I just screamed in terror."
Continuing, Lecompte said "She was my best friend, she was
like a sister to me and a second mom to my kids."
All wedding arrangements have been
postponed indefinitely, as everyone reflected on the loss of their
Osler is survived by her husband of 25 years, Frank, three children
and two grandchildren.