Baylee Holbrook.Baylee Holbrook.
Baylee Holbrook. | Trinity Baptist Church

Palatka teen dies after lightning strike

Published on September 28, 2023 at 1:34 pm

A 16-year-old girl who was hit by lightning Tuesday afternoon while hunting with her father has died, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and her church.

Trinity Baptist Church posted that Baylee Holbrook died at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, after she was hit while hunting near Bostwick.

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The church on Silver Lake Drive in Palatka indicated that it opened at noon for everyone to “gather, pray and reflect.” 

Memorials to the young woman on Facebook call her “a blessing to all she was around, funny, brutally, honest and tough as nails! ” Another friend said they were “beyond thankful that God placed you in my life.”

The father and daughter were hunting late Tuesday afternoon when lightning from a storm struck a nearby tree and them, the Sheriff’s Office said.

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The father lost consciousness, then awoke to find his daughter was not breathing, the Sheriff’s Office said. He called 911, then drove his daughter closer to a road to meet paramedics as he also began CPR.

The girl was being treated at UF Shands Gainesville’s trauma center, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Vigils were held in front of Palatka Junior-Senior High School on Wednesday for the girl, whose Facebook page shows that she was an avid hunter and a member of the school’s golf program.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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