FAIRFIELD, CT (WFSB) – A Southington man died from injuries sustained during a severe storm that moved through the state on Wednesday.
Police said 21-year-old Jarrod Marotto died after a tree limb fell on his car during a severe thunderstorm.
The incident happened on Wednesday evening just after 5 p.m. on Park Avenue.
Police said Marotto was driving southbound on Park Avenue when a large tree limb fell from a tree after it was struck by lightning.
The limb hit the driver’s side of the truck.
Marotto was the only person inside the car.
He was brought to St. Vincent’s Medical Center where he died from his injuries.
"Great guy. A lot of energy, fun to be around, great personality. Great sense of humor and really it's a loss for our community today," said Mark Pooler, CEO of the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA.
Marotto was a counselor from 2013 to 2016 in Southington at Camp Sloper.
"I've known him since he was 5 years old. Growing up in youth sports programs, childcare programs, swimming lessons with the Y and part of the membership as well," Pooler said.
Marotto, who is from Southington, graduated in May from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, with a degree in psychology.
The school released a statement on Thursday saying "Our hearts go out to Jarrod’s family and friends and to everyone in the SHU community who knew him. We will be keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers."
He also worked in the student union and participated in Greek life and Sacred Hearty.
The incident is under investigation by Fairfield Police.
The severe weather in the state on Wednesday brought heavy rains and high winds, thunder and lightning.
While many say this was a freak accident, there are some things to keep in mind when severe weather is headed your way.
"It certainly is a tragedy. If you can take any steps to avoid being on the road when the conditions worsen, even if you can just pull over, can make a huge difference," said AAA spokesperson Amy Parmenter.
AAA also said if you do pull over, find a safe area.
"Make sure there's plenty of room, if on a highway, if there's a way to get off the highway, especially when there's limited visibility, turn those hazards on," Parmenter said.