A 16-year-old girl is in critical condition after she and her father were struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon while hunting near Bostwick, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
The father and daughter were hunting late in the afternoon when lightning from a storm struck a nearby tree and also them, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The father lost consciousness. When he awoke before 5 p.m., he discovered that his daughter, Baylee Holbrook, a Palatka Junior-Senior High School student, was not breathing, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The father called 911, then began driving his daughter closer to a road to meet paramedics. He began CPR, and arriving deputies took over until paramedics arrived.
The girl was taken first to HCA Florida Putnam Hospital, then stabilized before being moved to UF Shands Gainesville’s trauma center.
A vigil for Baylee was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the school.
Police warned people to be aware of thunderstorms after an increase in lightning strikes in the Putnam County area in the past two days. The forecast is predicting several more days of increased rain, thunder and lightning, and lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from any rainfall, the Sheriff’s Office warns.