A woman who was to serve as the matron of honor at her best friend's wedding was struck by lightning and killed during the rehearsal dinner on the eve of the ceremony.

Cindy Osler, 45, had gone outside the restaurant with the best man Friday night to check their car windows when she was hit by a bolt of lightning in this central New Jersey town.

"Everybody was so happy, and then it became a nightmare," said Dave Tarnowski, the best man.

The bolt tore through the pavement and knocked Tarnowski down. The wedding was postponed indefinitely after Osler's death.

"She was my best friend," said Lisa Lecompte, the bride. "She was like a sister to me and a second mom to my kids."

Osler is survived by her husband of 25 years, Frank, three children and two grandchildren.