A man who was struck by lightning while working on a roof Thursday afternoon in eastern Kansas City has died, a family friend told The Star.
Leonel Sanchez, 23, and another man fell from a roof at a residence near 49th Street and Raymond Avenue. They were taken to a hospital.
Another roofer called Sanchez's cousin, Martin Contreras, and the cousin's girlfriend, Lizeth Garcia, to tell them that Sanchez was dead, Garcia said in a phone interview on Friday.
Sanchez had been in the U.S. for about seven months and was planning to return to his hometown of Tierra Nueva in central Mexico, Garcia said. He lived and worked with Contreras in Springdale, Ark., before relocating to Kansas City to work with some other cousins.
Contreras and Garcia started a GoFundMe on Friday with the goal of transporting Sanchez's body back to his family in Mexico. The campaign had raised $340 of its $7,000 goal in the first nine hours.
Garcia said the actual cost will be closer to $10,000, but they "don't want to ask for that much" from the community.
She described Sanchez as a "good, hard worker" who stayed out of trouble.
"He was a real nice guy to everybody, and he had a lot of friends who are going to miss him," Garcia said.