Hurricane Nicole, the first hurricane to hit the United States in November in nearly 40 years, proved to be deadly. Reportedly, the storm has claimed five lives in the central Florida area, including a set of 23-year-old twins.
On Thursday, Nov. 10, Khalil Malik and Kianna Shaundadrea Sapp lost their lives after making contact with a fallen power line during the downpour of Hurricane Nicole on Bayfront Parkway and Pershing Avenue in Conway, FL, a small suburb in the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The two siblings were in their vehicle with the sister’s 1-year-old daughter, Mylah, when both were electrocuted by a live cable. The toddler was not harmed in the incident.
The Orange County Sheriff’s deputy explained when they got there both brother and sister were unconscious, with Khalil being pronounced dead on the scene by local law enforcement.
The officers assess the brother was electrocuted after he touched the knocked-down cable and that his sister rushed out the car to help her brother. Kianna was also electrocuted while trying to save him and pronounced dead once she arrived at a nearby hospital.
Witness Kimberly Neff, who is also the duo’s neighbor, stated the weather with its ferocious winds challenged first responders’ efforts to get to the pole, turn the electricity off and save victims.
By the time paramedics were able to get to the siblings, Neff says, Khalil’s entire body was immersed in flames. Despite the extensive burns, according to WFTV 9, the twin’s father was able to identify his children.
Friends of the twins’ and Khalil’s employer, Isaac Reano and his wife Mercedes Lim, started a GoFundMe campaign hoping to raise $50,000 for their homegoing services.
Lim remembered them fondly, saying, “We would invite him over to our house. He was welcomed into our house into our family. So he became one of our kids.”
For Reano, Khalil “was much more like a son than a friend.”
“He was one of those people that was always happy, positive; always willing to help. He’s the first one to come into the shop, help us get everything ready for the day. He’s the last one to leave,” he said. The owner of the Mercedes nail salon said Kianna had a similar disposition.
Kianna and Khalil’s mother, who was too upset to give a full interview on camera, said, “They were good kids. They were the life of the party. They always helped out whenever they can. Either one would give you the shirt off their back. They would do anything for you.”
They called their deaths in the campaign an “unforeseen accident while Hurricane Nicole was passing over Central Florida.”
“These two siblings with positive attitudes, always willing to help others and always put others’ needs before theirs,” Reano shared, continuing to detail that the “fund is to help their single mom cover expensive funeral, not for one but two of her children.”
The organizer further stated, “any money left will be used to establish a trust for the young baby left behind.” Young Mylah is in the custody of her family.
While talking to the press, Reano and Lim informed the public about a makeshift memorial before the funeral. According to them, the twin’s families are coming in from Savannah, Georgia, to pay their respects.
“Hearing everybody’s story and kind of putting everything together by mainly knowing how he is I think, we believe, that what happened was that he saw a fire on the street he probably came out to try to turn it out because that was who he was, he always wanted to help,” Reano stated.
Adding, “But then his sister, as a sister knowing her brother is struggling, she probably ran out to say, ‘Hey let me help you.’”
Hurricane Nicole has since waned and is now considered a post-tropical storm.