Lightning strike kills New Orleans woman at Lafourche Parish music festival

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LAROSE, La. (WGNO) - The National Weather Service is reporting the nation’s first lightning death of the year happened at the T-Bois Blues outdoor music festival. 28-year-old Jacqui Stavis was killed. The Lafourche Parish sheriff’s office says severe weather moved in Friday night.

Jacqui, two other women (ages 24 and 30) and a dog took cover in their small tent. Authorities say Jacqui was found unresponsive, the other two women had electric shock injuries, and he large Labrador died.

Jacqui died Saturday at the LaFourche Parish Hospital. The 30-year-old was also taken to that hospital. The 24-year-old went to University Medical Center in New Orleans.

Friends and family of Jacqui are mourning. Her cousin told us, Jacqui moved to New Orleans a few years ago with her boyfriend. They loved and embraced New Orleans and had many friends.

"Jacqui brought peace and happiness to everyone that she touched. She was a wonderful massage therapist. She brought good humor and demanded good tunes at every juncture in life," said Erik Yingling, Jacqui's cousin.

Jacqui worked as a massage therapist at Riverside Day Spa and Salon in the French Quarter. Her boss told us she will be deeply missed.

"I just saw her like 3 or 4 days ago -- and – and oh my gosh, I can’t believe it. I was feeling really sad the whole night last night and this morning I am like I’m going to miss – I’m going to miss her coming in," said Hoa Chau, the owner of Riverside Day Spa & Salon.

A vigil for Jacqui in New Orleans is still being organized.

T-Bois Blues Festival organizers Alligator Mike and the Falgout Family issued the below statement:

The Falgout Family is deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred this weekend at T-Bois Blues Festival. Every attendee of this small festival is part of the T-Bois family, and we feel as though we lost a family member this weekend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Stavis family and all those who love Jacqui, as well as the others injured and affected by Friday night’s tragedy.

We have many more thoughts and experiences to share from a weekend that presented quite a few challenges but saw a group of workers and festival goers persevere through them. But out of respect for all those mourning this loss we will take the next few days to reflect on the weekend and step away from social media. We thank every person who attended this years T-Bois Blues Fest in any capacity, and we hope to continue to provide a place for good friends, good food and good music.