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07/07/1971 Killed Quain Palmer & others  12.0  Red River NM 
date unsure
taking shelter under a tree    Outside,Park,Picnic,Raining 
Deadly lightning's impact lingers 35 years later 12:58 AM CST on Sunday, February 4, 2007 By DAVID TARRANT / The Dallas Morning News Grief has a way of finding you. Even after 35 years. Shonda Palmer Hardy was at home in Plano reading a newspaper story about a recovering drug addict who had written a memoir. As a boy, his faith had been shaken after coming upon a family struck by lightning. One of the four killed had been a young boy. TOM SETZER/DMN Staff Artist Shonda's stomach tensed. She rushed to a bookstore and found the memoir, Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption, by William Cope Moyers. She turned to the pertinent passage. The place and date jumped out at her: Red River, N.M.; July 1971. It was as if the bolt of lightning had cut across time and space to strike her life again. Shonda was 9 years old when she saw Quain, her 12-year-old brother, killed during the storm that afternoon. Afterward, she and her family rarely mentioned the events of that day. But now, at the age of 44, she felt the need to do so. Over Thanksgiving, Shonda went to Amarillo to see her parents. Raydell and Donnie Palmer still live in the ranch house on the south side of town where she grew up. Shonda wasn't looking for closure. Instead, she was ready to open a door. For years, her mother had kept a white cardboard box on a shelf in her bedroom closet. It was filled with yellowed newspaper clippings, condolences, official paperwork, photographs and memorial cards. Also Online Deadly lightning's impact lingers Photos: Bolt from the past DMN staff writer David Tarrant chats about this story Monday at 1 p.m. on • Send advance questions Whenever the tornado sirens went off, her mother would retrieve the box as she herded her children into the storm cellar. Shonda brought the box back to Plano. One morning, as she sat on her bed going through its contents, she came across a business card. On it, in scribbled handwriting, was a note: "Shonda – We are fine. Be a big girl. We'll be home tomorrow. Love, Mother." Raydell had dashed off the note just before racing to the hospital with her husband, who was severely injured by the lightning. Shonda wondered why her mother had written, "Be a big girl." Had she been a big girl, a brave girl? If so, at what cost? They were just a few of the questions she would ask over the following weeks as she journeyed back to the moment that had changed everything. Eager vacationers It was the summer of 1971. An eager group of vacationers set off from Amarillo that Sunday morning. "You can't imagine the happiness," Raydell recalls. The group included Donnie, Raydell and their three children: Quain, Shonda, and Shane, 3. Joining them were Raydell's sister and her family and the Palmers' best friends and their children. Six hours later, the group of 13 arrived in Red River. With the day still young, the Palmers wanted to show everyone where they had stayed the previous year in the Carson National Forest. "We can't just sit around," Raydell recalls saying. "Let's go up. Smell the pine. It's beautiful." The three mothers and their seven children climbed into a dune buggy, which had been converted from a Volkswagen frame. The three fathers drove motorbikes. About 1 p.m., the sightseers reached an area of the forest called Black Copper Canyon, 12 miles southeast of Red River. Rain started falling, in what a state patrol officer later described as a "heavy mountain downpour." As the wind whipped around them, the group took shelter in a grove of pine trees. Raydell sat in the buggy. Little Shane was down on the ground playing, but Raydell pulled him back into the buggy. Donnie and Quain stood under a pine tree, and she tossed them a red tarp to drape over their heads. Then she shouted: "Donnie, it's beginning to hail a little bit. Let's go back to town." A blinding flash The noise bit off the end of her sentence. A blinding flash exploded around them. A whooshing sound quickly followed. Later, Raydell attributed that sound to the souls of the dead flying up to heaven. The bodies of Donnie, Quain and four others lay splayed across the ground, covered in mist or smoke. "It's like God put a blanket over [them]," Raydell recalls. A man driving by in a station wagon stopped. He gathered everybody who could walk and drove to the next cabin. He and a man from that cabin went back up to check on the others. The lightning had instantly killed Quain and his uncle, Winton Campbell, 37. Also killed were Glenn Cowsar, 34, and his wife, Helen, 33. Donnie was alive, but unconscious. So was 10-year-old Anita Cowsar, who lay under her mother's body. The rescuers took the survivors and the injured in two cars and started down the mountain. At this point, the Moyers family, with 12-year-old Cope, was driving up to their cabin. They encountered one of the cars coming in the opposite direction, its headlights flashing. In his memoir, Mr. Moyers wrote that his father, TV journalist Bill Moyers, stopped and spoke briefly to the other driver. The boy heard the words, Family ... Lightning ... Dead. Then, his father drove to the accident scene, telling his family they had to wait for help and make sure the bodies weren't disturbed by wild animals. Inside the other car, the rain pounded against the windshield, and the children cried frantically, Raydell recalls. The driver tried to calm everyone, saying: "Kids, let's all pray." Hours later, Raydell was at her husband's bedside in the hospital when he regained consciousness. "Donnie, we're here," Raydell said. "Where's Cowsar?" Donnie asked. "Donnie, he's gone," Raydell said. "Where's Winton?" "Donnie, he's gone." And then a pause. "Where's Quain?" "Donnie," she said softly, "he's gone." Memory and healing The car sits in a wooden barn in Shonda's parents' back yard. A layer of brown dust, a gift of the windswept plains, covers it like a warm blanket. Donnie used to sell cars in Amarillo. In 1967, four years before the accident, a customer offered to trade him the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air. Donnie immediately knew its destiny. He wanted that car for his son. No matter that little Quain was busy wearing out the banana seat of his 20-inch Huffy bicycle. Or that he wouldn't be eligible to get his driver's license for a few more years. After what happened on the mountain, Donnie kept the car on the lot. Now and then, a customer would ask if it was for sale, unable to resist its soft, rounded curves, and lustrous salmon-and-gray coloring. Donnie always gave the same answer: "There's not enough money in this world to buy that car in my lifetime." Shonda never talked to her father about Quain. You just didn't do that, she said. She never talked to him about the Chevy, either. But she knew her father's dreams and his grief were wrapped up in that car. To let it go would have been to let go of Quain. "That would have been like burying him all over again," she says. During visits over Thanksgiving and Christmas, Shonda listened as old memories came pouring out of her mother. In the days and weeks after the accident, Raydell had identified the bodies and made the funeral arrangements. She took care of the children and Donnie, who was recovering from his injuries. She patiently met with sympathetic neighbors and friends and answered the flood of condolences that arrived in the mail. All the while, she was nearly out of her mind with grief for Quain. "Oh, I missed him terrible. I liked to died. I absolutely liked to died." From the moment the lightning struck, she sensed that God was in control. She asked only for strength. "Help me to get through this," she prayed. "This is horrible." After the funeral, while Donnie was at work and Shonda at school, Raydell often sat in a chair in the living room looking out on the back yard. She cried, sometimes so much that Shane would whimper along with his mother. But she wasn't angry. "The moment that it hit, I knew that they were gone. I knew they were gone, before I even looked," she says. She would take her children out for dinner, because she couldn't look at Quain's chair. "I missed him sitting there at that table. I couldn't bear it," she says. "God blessed us. Donnie worked, and I had enough money that I could take my kids and go eat." One day, about a year after Quain's death, Raydell saw something she hadn't noticed before. It was a tiny pellet hole in the big picture window overlooking the back yard. She knew that Quain had had a BB gun. She called one of his old friends. He confessed that one of them had accidentally shot the hole in the window. They had been afraid to tell her at the time. The pellet hole made her happy, and it remains there. Another time, while dusting the grandfather clock, she found Quain's collection of Hot Wheels. He had hidden them there to keep them from Shane. And later, when she opened up the piano stool, she discovered Quain's stash of candy. Such discoveries might have brought fresh waves of grief. To Raydell, however, it seemed like Quain was staying in touch with her. "Those things were comforting to me," she says. "I want to keep him in my heart and in my mind. I never want to lose that vision of him." Closing the door For Donnie, it was different. The 1955 Chevy Bel Air that sat on his car lot became too much. Every time he went to work, it was a painful reminder of the son he had lost. One day in 1976, five years after the accident, Donnie decided it was time to move the car off the lot and take it home. He drove it into the back yard. Donnie pulled into the barn, about the width of two Chevys, and closed the door. The whole time, he didn't say a word. During Christmas of 1990, nearly 20 years after the accident, Donnie began to suffer severe depression. Raydell first noticed the symptoms the day Donnie went to his aunt's funeral, where he was a pallbearer. When he got home, he started crying. "It got to where he cried all the time," Raydell says. "He was finally realizing Quain was gone." She took Donnie to a doctor, who linked his depression to delayed grief syndrome. "If you don't take time to mourn, you won't mend," Raydell says. "That's what God intended you to do." Donnie had never been particularly religious, but that changed about this time. He wanted to pray, attend church and read the Bible. He talked about visiting Quain's grave. But he never got there. "Couldn't bear it," Raydell says. Opening doors The wobbly barn door is held shut by a cement block and a log propped against it. Raydell leans down to move the door stops. Then, she slowly lifts the garage door. "There it is. When he drove it in here, it was cleaned up; it looked really good," Raydell says. Here and there, a glimpse of salmon-and-gray paint can be seen under the dust. Inside, the car is as pristine as the day Donnie parked it. The odometer reads 71,494 miles. Inside the house, Donnie is sitting in a recliner in the den. Thin and frail, he sits with a blanket pulled over his lap. It's late morning, and he's catnapping in front of the TV. At 76, he still owns the used-car lot in Amarillo. But Parkinson's disease has slowed him down. A few years ago, he turned over the day-to-day management of the business to Shane. He still stops by the office nearly every afternoon to play gin with old friends. His eyes light up when he's asked about cars. That's why he got into the used-car business, he says. "I like messing with cars, don't know why." And what made the '55 Chevy Bel Air so special that he wanted to save it for Quain? At the mention of his son's name, Donnie looks startled. After a few moments, he says softly: "Well, I liked it." He says something else, but the words are drowned out by the TV. His eyes water, and his shoulders tremble. Raydell is a few steps away in the kitchen and comes over. She takes his right hand in hers and massages it. "It's still with us, Daddy, isn't it? It's still with us," she says. "Always will be," Donnie says. "It always will be," Raydell says. Two years ago, when Shonda first moved to Plano with her husband, it was emotionally wrenching for the family. Except for the four years she attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, she had always been close to her parents. 'A big girl' Growing up, she had been afraid that something would happen to her parents. "I was just so scared because of what happened to my brother. I was very attached to them." Moving away has given her another chance to "be a big girl," Shonda says. She realizes how much her mother protected her from the details of her older brother's death. "And she had a reason for that. Because it's powerful and heavy," she says. "Going through that box now as a 44-year-old woman, I truly realize and feel the pain that my mother felt. And I realize the magnitude of this horrific and tragic ordeal. "I feel her pain when she had to come down that mountain and leave those four bodies lying there. You don't feel that pain as a 9-year-old child, because you don't know what's going on. But as an adult, you do." As she went through the cardboard box that contained Quain's mementos, she got to know him better. There was a letter to Santa Claus. In large, underlined words, Quain requested a "gumbe and pokey," and an "electerec guteer." "I see the pictures of my mom and dad playing with the little 3-year-old and then when he's 5 and reaching out for his birthday cake," she says. "... Quain was their first child. They waited 10 years for him." And, finally, she understands her own loss, which became clear when she saw photos of another trip to New Mexico a year before their fateful vacation. One photo shows her as a young, blond-haired girl, playing with Quain outside their lodge. Dark mountains loom in the background. Quain was her older brother, someone she could play with, lean on and learn from. Someone she could love. "He would have paved the road for me," she says. In the end, she had been "a big girl." But it had been at the cost of being a little sister. And for that, finally, she can grieve.
07/07/1971 03:00 PM Injured Donna O'Hearn  15.0  CT 
  sitting on metal steps to trailer  N/A  Camping,Near Water,Outside,Stormy Weather 
07/07/1971 12:00 PM Killed Anita K Scott (4 killed 2 injured)  0.0  NM 
Anita K. Scott, Wanette resident and lightning survivor, announced the release of her book "Living God’s Plan After the Lightning." While on vacation to Red River, N.M., in July 1971 six people of a 13-person party were struck by lightning while trying to escape the effects of a rain storm. Taking shelter under a tree proved tragic when the lightning killed four of the six people. Now, 38 years later, internationally known writer and nationally known author Scott shares her story about this dreadful day. In the pages of her book the reader is encouraged to see how God can use tragic situations to work in a person’s life. Her readers will find themselves crying one minute and laughing out loud the next. Her true life story tells what lay ahead when she woke up in a hospital room all alone at the age of nine. "Living God’s Plan After the Lightning" is available online through Scott's web site or at The Good Book Store, 118 N Rennie in Ada , where she will be having a book signing Saturday, March 6 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Scott is also available to share her story with churches, women’s groups, youth groups, and civic organizations. She can be contacted through her Web site.
07/01/1971 Injured Frank Williams  0.0  Richmond VA 
    N/A  Near Trees,Outside 
Mostly unhurt was Frank Williams of Richmond. One night in 1971, he says, lightning hit a tree in his yard and splashed over to him as he stood holding an aluminum storm door with his right hand. His right side was paralyzed for about 45 minutes, but then regained full movement. Williams feels no ill effects today, he says.
06/06/1971 12:00 PM Killed airliner  0.0   
date not accurate      Airplane 
In 1971 an aircraft crashed after being struck by lightning over Peru, killing all but one of its passengers. Juliane Koepcke, 17, wandered through the jungle for 11 days before her rescue
09/07/1970 Killed 2 of 2 football players  101.0  St. Petersburg FL 
      Football,Outside,School,Sports Field 
see 1 of 2
09/07/1970 Killed 1 of 2 football players  101.0  St. Petersburg FL 
    N/A  Football,Outside,School,Sports Field 
09/07/1970 Injured 1 of 22 injured  101.0  St. Petersburg FL 
  playing football  N/A  Football,Outside,School,Sports Field 
see 1 of 2 players killed
07/31/1970 Injured Enger S Myers  0.0  Flinstone MD 
  inside kitchen touching appliance  N/A  Dry,During the storm,Indoors,Kitchen/Appliance 
lightning struck pole outside house ran through wire
07/11/1970 12:00 PM Injured girl  0.0  Denver Co 
In 1970...a girl walking in a park in southeast Denver received eye and facial injuries when lightning struck nearby. Lightning also caused numerous power outages and heavy rainfall produced local flooding at several locations across metro Denver.
07/07/1970 Injured Rob Pudim  0.0  CO 
date not accurate  collecting butterflies while climbing a mountain    Mtn. Climbing,Outside 
writers on the range My date with lightning By Rob Pudim Article Last Updated:10/14/2006 01:16:04 AM MDT Boulder Just about everyone who has spent time in the high country has a lightning story to tell - when lightning cracked open a nearby tree, or how their hair stood on end and they got out of there. I'd been in Colorado a short time and was ignorant about everything Western when I decided to climb a mountain outside of Denver in July. It was a walk-up kind of "thirteener," and I was dressed in my usual mountain climbing outfit of shorts, sneakers, shirt tied to my waist, and a fanny pack. I lolly- gagged getting up that morning and didn't start up the mountain until 10 a.m. or so. Anyone who knows the mountains knows this is a stupid thing to do, and no, I had no compass, map, rain gear or even water bottle. Even stupider. As I started up the trail, clouds began building over the Continental Divide. I ignored them. I am a butterfly collector, and I was collecting butterflies in the rocks above tree line. I paid no attention to the weather because the sun was shining and it felt warm. By mid-afternoon, though, it was overcast, and that's when and I stupidly decided to bag the peak as fast as I could. I got on the top and was sweating and breathing hard, when I noticed a humming in the air as if the mountain were singing. "Oh, wow, far out!" I thought. (This was the early 1970s, and we talked that way.) "The hair on my arms is standing up. And, man, I got an Afro. Whoa!" The next thing I remember is a guy standing over me asking me if I was dead. From below, he said, he'd seen a lightning bolt hit me on the top of my head. Thinking back, lightning felt like the "thumpers" - what we called a "schmiddock" in Pennsylvania - that my older brother used to give me on my head. I looked down; I'd turned a purple-pink color and there were snakelike tracks on my skin. My feet were burned, my T-shirt was gone, my shorts were in tatters, and my shoes were charred and nearly blown off. Somehow I staggered down the mountain with the help of the Good Samaritan and drove home. I assume I did that, but I don't remember anything about it. I hurt for weeks from the burns and the muscles that seized when I was hit. When asked what happened, I told everyone I had a lot in common now with Frankenstein's electrified monster. I was a lucky innocent that day. I must have had my mouth open because my eardrums didn't burst, and because I was sweaty, electricity ran down my skin and not through my body. I was also high up and the clouds were low, and though the charge was somewhere between 200 million and 2 billion volts, the amperage or current was not. This "flashover" effect travels on the outside of the body, so it doesn't usually disrupt the electrical functions of the brain and heart. Deaths from lightning are rare and so are direct strikes. "Splash" - where lightning hits somewhere else and the electricity runs along wet rocks or grass - is what kills most people. People stand with their legs apart, and the current runs up one leg, through their body and down the other leg. This summer a golfer in Granby was struck exactly the way I was, surviving with similar burns and pain. Personally, I would not carry a metal stick under threatening skies in the mountains during summer. What I learned from this experience is to get on and off the mountain early, before the clouds build up. Keep your feet together. Try to hold your mouth open. Don't carry a metal stick. Count one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, when you see the lightning flash; if the count gets up to one-thousand-five, you know the storm is about a mile away, so get out of there. Unless, of course, like me, you want to get your battery charged. Writer and cartoonist Rob Pudim is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News ( in Paonia.
07/07/1970 12:00 PM Injured Michael Hansen  5.0  Milton FL 
  under a tree    Ground Strike,Indirect,Outside,Under Trees 
My Age at the time 5-6 · Name : Michael Hansen · Place : Milton Florida · Occurred early 1970 s · I was playing outside underneath a tree when the lighting arced from the tree and hit me · Was thrown as high as 2-3 yards in the air, hit the ground dead, blue ,shoes on fire ( this was told to me) · Local paramedic living across the road, came to aid · Rushed to hospital - · My heart stop 4-5 times · There was a award ceremony for the paramedic · Mom name : Anna Hansen ( thought the lawn mower had blown up) · Father : Bruce Hansen · Military housing · I had tomato soup for lunch ( important point  for paramedic) · Would love to also thank the paramedic ! I have live in Australia since 1984, so no real contact with people in Florida BTW  I was born in great Barrington Massachusetts& If I can dredge up further info will pass it on&thanks heaps &!!
06/06/1970 12:00 PM Injured Emmett t Lang  0.0  Pa 
  golfing    Golf Course,Outside 
n the early 1970s, he was among two foursomes playing golf on a course near Greensburg. “We had just played six holes and I had four pars and two bogeys,” he said. A thunderstorm came up and it was raining so hard that he tilted his umbrella to protect his group. As soon as Lang raised the umbrella, he got zapped when the lightning came from the ground up. He was playing with two mine inspectors, one of whom declared him dead and attended to another member of the foursome. “A doctor playing the foursome in front of us was summoned to help the other golfer who was bleeding from his hand,” Lang said. The doctor eventually checked Lang and discovered a faint pulse. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was told they didn’t know how to handle the emergency. “They said they had people who were struck by lightning, but they never had a person that actually survived one,” Lang said. Lang, who had an 18 handicap at the time, regained consciousness about two hours later in an ambulance and the doctor asked what he remembered. “I had a heck of a round going until I got hit by lightning,” he said.
09/01/1969 Injured Bette Maryniak  102.0  Roycroft AB 
  driving tractor on farm  N/A  Cardiac Arrest,Dry,Farming,Outside,Tractor 
driving a tractor, pulling a grain wagon. I was told we had a dry storm, My husband found me sitting on the tractor, my gloves burned to the wheel and the zipper burned to my coveralls. He used resuscutation until I would breathe, than ran to house to call for help.
07/26/1969 09:10 PM Injured Harold R Deal  102.0  Lawson MO 
  walking from car to house in rain    During the storm,Outside,Raining,Stormy Weather,Walking,Wet 
walking from car to house in rain storm. As if I stepped into a very soft cotton ball. Woke up about 50 feet away on the other side of a 6 foot fence. Did not know what happened
07/26/1969 09:14 PM Injured Harold Deal  0.0  Lawson Mo 
  walking from car to house    During the storm,Outside,Wet 
We are all survivors of some sort’ Greenwood man who was struck by lightning: Experience made life fuller May 10, 2006 By MEGAN VARNER Index-Journal senior staff writer Greenwood resident Harold Deal, affectionately known as “No Coat,” takes a coffee break from his catering job with Gary’s Kuntry Kitchen. Deal, 68, was struck by lightning in Missouri in 1969, and has since been unable to smell or taste, and he cannot feel cold or physical pain. Growing up in Missouri, a state in the infamous Tornado Alley, Harold Deal was used to severe thunderstorms with heavy rains and lightning. As a child, he used to press his face to the window panes during storms to see how far he could see when the lightning struck, he said. But on July 26, 1969, Deal got a close encounter with lightning that many people don’t live to tell about. Deal, 68, said he had just gotten home from work as a maintenance electrician with TWA when a summer storm sprang up over his town of Lawson, Mo. Though the event was nearly 37 years ago, Deal, now a Greenwood resident, said he can remember even the smallest details about what happened next. “It was about 9:14 (p.m.) when I was struck. I pulled in my driveway in my service truck and jumped out. It was lightning real bad and raining real hard ... It was funny lightning. I never will forget it. It was like a kid playing with a flashlight on the floor,” Deal said. “I jumped out to run into the house, and between the third or fourth step, it hit me. “It felt like I was on something going real fast. I couldn’t get my head up on my shoulders,” he said, describing the jolt from the sky. “It felt like my head was being sucked down between my shoulder blades. I couldn’t see anything — it was just a soft white, like you had a huge cotton ball and you put your face down in it.” Hours later, neighbors found Deal about 50 feet away from where he was struck, he said. The bolt had sent him over a 6-foot fence and left holes in the ground — where his feet had been — more than 20 inches deep. The lightning struck Deal in the head and traveled out his legs, and he said the soles of his work boots and his dental fillings had been blown off his body during the strike. The money in his pocket also melted together. During the next days, Deal began to experience psychological and physical changes that scared and frustrated him. “When I pulled into that driveway, I was strong and in good health, and, in the snap of a finger, I was nothing,” he said. “I was not a Christian at that time and I felt like I was being punished for it.” Deal said his memory was affected and remembering even the simplest of tasks, like how to talk and walk, was difficult at times. The embarrassment the memory loss caused created a fear of being around other people. “I wasn’t afraid of (the other people), I was afraid of what I would do around them,” he said, adding that during a conversation, his voice might stop working. “I’d have to stop and think, ‘What do I do to get it to make sound again?’ “I had pads and pencils in every room. If I thought of something I might want to remember, I wrote it down,” Deal added. “One day, it took me three hours to get out of a chair. It wasn’t that I couldn’t get up; I had just forgotten what to do.”Deal was also left without the ability to taste, smell, feel cold or experience physical pain. Deal said his body temperature runs about three degrees lower than normal since the strike. He doesn’t own a jacket or a long-sleeved shirt, adding that people have affectionately nicknamed him “No Coat” as a result. He said he overheats easily, and, on warm summer days, it isn’t unusual for him to drop bags of ice in the water while bathing to cool off. “Today, I can’t drink enough. Most lightning survivors carry liquids with them at all times,” he said. The oddity of his physical changes has created a media frenzy, he said, and newspapers, radio shows and television crews have contacted him for stories over the past decades. Though it has made him something of a celebrity, Deal said his strike has also made him feel isolated and alone, and those feelings are not uncommon among other lightning strike and electric shock survivors. He said depression and suicide are frequent among survivors, adding that only seven out of 10 survivors report their experiences, and of that seven, five consider or commit suicide. “You just feel so alone ... There are a lot of times that I have to fight emotion, even today,” he said. “I felt like an oddball, a weirdo. They (the news media) weren’t interested in me as a lightning survivor. The only thing they were interested in me for was the oddity.” Deal said his inability to feel pain might sound like a blessing to some people, but for him, it is a very dangerous and scary thing. During an ice storm a few years ago, Deal said he slipped on some ice outside of his home and broke his leg. He didn’t realize the severity of his injuries until he stood up and his leg would not support him. “I’ll take physical pain any day over psychological pain,” he said. “When I was working as a maintenance electrician, I’d see blood on the floor and I’d have to start looking around to see where I had cut myself.” And like other survivors, Deal dipped down into severe depression. His lowest point came one night in 1991 when he said he thought about taking his own life. “I blasted the Lord for this for 18 years and I tore myself down until one night I considered suicide,” Deal said. “That night, the Lord spoke to me ... He said, ‘(Dying) may be your wish, but it isn’t my will.’ Deal continued, “I couldn’t go through with it. Four days later, I gave my life to the Lord and I started praising Him for what I was blasting Him for.” Deal joined Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors International, a group that provides support and information to survivors. He also began working in prison ministries and donating blood regularly. He said he also talks to church and civic groups, and will talk to any group that is interested in lightning safety. He said he knows that his life could have been “stamped out” that night in 1969, but he said he thinks the Lord saved him for a reason. “The Lord supplies our needs, and He was supplying my needs for His will,” Deal said of the strike. “I am very fortunate that I was not killed, and I am more fortunate than a lot of them that live.” Though some might find it hard to believe, Deal said he is “thankful” that the lightning bolt found him 37 years ago — and changed his life for the better. “If someone walked up to me right now and said that they could give me back my life and health (I had) before I was struck by lightning, I’d have to say no,” he said. “I feel, looking back on it, that my life has been so much richer and so much fuller. “Always remember,” he added, “we are all survivors of some sort.”
07/26/1969 09:12 PM Injured Howard Deal  31.0  Lawson MO 
  going from truck to house    Driveway,Near Struck Vehicle,Outside,Raining,Touching a vehicle,Wet 
Offutt: Lightning strike leaves man impervious to cold From the Shadows Zoom Photos Jason Offutt teaches journalism at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. Yellow Pages Find whatever you're looking for with Totally Local Yellow Pages Search provided by Featured Business » By Jason Offutt Special to The Examiner Posted Oct 06, 2010 @ 12:14 AM Maryville, MO  The town of Lawson, Mo., sat under thunderclouds on July 26, 1969, when Harold Deal, then 31, worked in a house as an electrical contractor. Deals son Larry, 10, shook at every thunderclap. My son begged me, Daddy, lets go home, Deal said. I did. Rain pounded the windshield of Deals truck as he drove to his home nearby. When I was about a block and a half from the house, I happened to look at my watch, Deal said. It was 9:12 in the evening. Most of the next six hours were impossible to remember. Deal pulled his truck into his driveway and parked. He sent Larry to the front door to make sure it was open before grabbing some important papers and stepping out of the truck. Then the night exploded in light. Between the third and fourth step I felt like I was (riding) something real fast, he said. It felt like my head was being sucked down between my shoulder blades. Lightning had struck Deal, knocking him out of his work boots and slamming him to the ground. I felt like a pincushion was inside of me, he said. And I could not see. When Deals sight and senses returned it was 4:20 a.m. For the next month Deal couldnt walk, and every movement sent stabs of pain throughout his body. To relieve the pain, he underwent back surgery at St. Marys Hospital in Kansas City. They ended up taking two vertebrae out of my back, Deal said. I was about five feet, eight and a quarter inches and I ended up after surgery two and a quarter inches shorter. After surgery, the pain was gone, but doctors told him he would never walk again. Deal did walk, but the lightning strike left Deal with a strange ability  hes impervious to cold. The way this lightning has left me, I never get cold, Deal said. Ive been out in seventy-two below zero temperature (in Hell, Michigan). I dont wear a jacket. I dont wear long sleeves, I dont wear long pants. Dr. Mary Ann Cooper of the Lightning Injury Research Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said lightning strikes could affect the body this way, but its unpredictable. Most doctors tell me its impossible, Deal said. Its medically impossible. But its still true. News photographers have shot Deal sitting in a bathtub of ice and bathing in a snowdrift. He stood in only a pair of shorts for four hours at minus 70 degrees for a television news program in Hell, Mich. Heat bothers him, but pain, taste and the sensation of cold are gone. While recovering from lightning strike, Deal has also dealt with emotional trauma. His first wife divorced him a few years after the strike and his friends seemed to disappear. He contemplated suicide in 1991  but something happened to stop him. I was tired of living, he said. I was just through with it. Thats when Desal said God spoke to him. He said, Harold, you feel you have to explain youre the way you are, Deal said. He said, remember, there are two types of people out there. Theres gossipers and theres sincere people. The sincere ones will ask you questions. The gossipers dont want the truth; theyve got their mind made up. I dont know how to explain it. I just felt it. After that experience, Deal has not only accepted what happened to him after the lightning strike, hes used his experience to help others. I feel my life today is so much richer so much fuller, he said. The Lord has shown me how to appreciate life. I dont take it for granted anymore. This lead Deal to the group Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors International, where he councils people who have also been struck by lightning. I call into seven or eight states a week when I hear someone has been struck by lightning or electricity, he said. I talk to them to give them psychologically what to expect. Deals life isnt really about his life, or his inability to feel cold. Its about how he can help others. Its not what Harold Deal has done, its what the Lord has done through Harold Deal, he said. I cant explain it. All I can do is share it. Copyright 2010 The Examiner. Some rights reserved
07/07/1969 01:00 PM Injured Gregg Young  0.0  Lake of the Ozarks MO 
  in the water  N/A  During the storm,In Water,Outside 
I just learned about your website. Good stuff. I had an experience in July, 1969, where I was really stupid and really lucky. I was on a boat dock and floating restaurant on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. I was outside pumping gas when a thunderstorm came up. It was cold, windy and I was cold since I just had on a pair of shorts. So dummy that I was, I climbed down the ladder on the end of the dock and got into the nice, warm lake. Lightning struck out in the middle of the lake a couple hundred yards away. My whole body got a jolt that kicked like a mule. But that was it. I climbed up the ladder and went inside, a wiser person for it. Anyway, thanks for putting out the word on what to do in a storm. I'm out with Boy Scouts regularly, so it is good to think about what we ought to do in various situations.
07/01/1969 Killed james murphy  0.0  OH 
 united states 
08/22/1968 Killed Kenny Carr  0.0  Crawford County PA 
  in a tent    During the storm,In a Tent 
Published August 21, 2007 10:59 pm - WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — Although the 2007 Crawford County Fair is off to a rainy start, history shows that some rainy days don’t necessarily get in the way of record-breaking attendance. The show will always goes on By Jane Smith 08/22/07 — WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — Although the 2007 Crawford County Fair is off to a rainy start, history shows that some rainy days don’t necessarily get in the way of record-breaking attendance. Last year, for example, opening-day attendance was only 2,059, but by the end of the week, attendance figures hit a new record. As of Monday, the fair paid attendance was down by 5,814, compared with 2006. The figures for Sunday show only 2,383 paid, compared with 7,818 in 2006. Monday’s was down even more — 1,022 to 7,818 last year. One reason for the major difference was because the Miss Crawford County Scholarship Pageant had to be moved from the fairgrounds to Allegheny College. Crews have been busy for the past three days filling mud holes with gravel and sawdust throughout the parking lot and the fairgrounds. Although the fair has had a significant number of rainy years, it continues rain or shine — as do all the competition and events. “We continue to show,” said Kenny Carr, head of the saddle horse and ponies department, adding, “unless it’s lightning.” Asked if it’s a law that events have to be canceled if there is lightning, Carr said, “It’s my law.” “I made it up the year after I get struck by lightning,” he said. That was in 1968 when two people were killed and 73 hospitalized after a tent was struck. “I was standing at stall one when I got hit and when I woke up, I was at stall four.” He was paralyzed from the waist down and was in the emergency room at the hospital for four or five hours. “Dr. (Gerald) Brooks jabbed me with a needle under my toenail,” he said, describing when he first felt movement that night. He remembers having what felt like footballs in his calves the next day, but he has recovered fully and remains active in the fair — taking necessary precautions when thunderstorms hit. Rainy weather has plagued the fair periodically ever since its second season. The first year, in 1946, opening-day weather was described as perfect with blue skies. The next year it rained and then turned extremely hot. The early fairs were held in September, but moved two weeks earlier in 1949 “for better weather.” That wasn’t guaranteed, however. History shows in 1956, severe winds left every tent torn to shreds on Monday of fair week. In 1971, fairground conditions were described as a “sea of mud” after the effects of tropical storm Doria canceled the harness races scheduled for Friday night. The fair has never canceled a country music show in the grandstand; however, when Reba McEntire and Ricky Shelton appeared in 1987, the concerts were delayed because of lightning. At Tuesday’s fair board meeting, members expressed concern about making more ruts in the parking lots and encouraged visitors to ride the bus to the grounds as possible. The fair board has had to purchase more gravel and sawdust, which will be an added expense. However, some of the employees were sent home early so that may help offset some of the added costs. Despite the many years of rainy weather, the fair has never had a financial loss in recent years. The fair board relies on advance rental fees and advance ticket sales to give it the cushion needed in case of bad weather.
07/05/1968 Injured Nicole Koehler  5.0  Canton MI 
      Cardiac Arrest,Coma,Dry,During the storm,Near Trees,Outside,Stormy Weather,Taking Shelter,Under Trees,Yard 
My sister Nicole (Nicky) was struck by lightning at the age of 5. She is now 42 years old as of 1/13/05. What I was told and remember (I was 4 years old) was that it was a dark gloomy day in Canton, MI (near Detroit). I can still see myself standing in the kitchen looking out the window. My dad was cutting the grass. It was thundering and lightning but not raining yet. I had remember my mom telling me and my sister to come in the house. My sister was worried about my dad so she stayed outside and sat under a big willow tree. Our closeline pole was metal and had a closeline from the pole to the willow tree. Apparently the lightning struck the closeline pole, traveled thru the line to the tree in which my sister was sitting under. Our neighbor said he saw my sister fly several feet into the air. The tree had a big crack in it. Back then the fire department/rescue was called. I don't think they had 911 in July 1968. My sister was pronounced dead, no heart beat for 5 minutes or more. The firefighter/paramedic could not resesitate her so a neighbor guy took over and tried CPR. Our neighbor Stan got my sister's heart going again. She was then in a coma for 6 weeks. My parents were told she had some brain damage and had to start over life as a baby (wearing diapers, learning to walk, talk, etc.). My sister was in special education all through school. She has told me that she reads but has a hard time remembering what she reads. She is currently at 4th or 5th grade level math. She does not know how to use a computer. She believes in Angels and is always wondering or talking about her lightning strike/death/life comback. She does have a job and a child (not married). She is the greatest friend and sister anyone could have. I'm so glad that our neighbor saved her life. The Stan neighbor actually passed away recently (Fall of 2004). He was 94 years old I believe. While in a nursing home, he stated that his greatest life acheivement was saving a little girls life, my sister's l Thank-you, Jackie Koehler -
03/21/1968 12:00 PM Injured Datuk M Rajamani, 1 of 3  0.0   
En-lightning tale of survival By RAJES PAUL USAIN Bolt, the worlds fastest man, is nicknamed Lightning Bolt. But that very same word  lightning  evokes painful memories for our own former national sprint queen Datuk M. Rajamani. Thats because when she was at the peak of her athletics career  at 24 years old  Rajamani was struck by lightning and it marked the end of her glorious four-year reign as Asias sprint darling. Forty-five years may have passed by since that day, but Rajamani still has flashbacks of the grim incident. Recalling that horrifying incident, the 69-year-old Rajamani said: I was training at the field with hopes of qualifying for my second Olympic Games (in Mexico City) that year. I was with two others  Govindan and Cheryl (Dorral)  at the Police Depot field. It was March 21, 1968. Serene presence: Datuk M. Rajamani sharing her thoughts during an interview in Brickfields recently. We were hit by lightning. Our other team-mates thought we were fooling around as all three of us fell to the ground. I was unconscious for 18 hours and fighting for my life. Unfortunately, Govindan died on the spot. I lost my memory and it took me three days before I could even recognise my father. I remember lying on a bed in the third class ward. But when word got around that Tunku (Abdul Rahman) will be visiting me, I was moved to the first class ward. He did not show up but sent me a bouquet of flowers. I was given an assurance that the athletics association would pay the bill but, after three months, nothing happened and my family had to fork out our own money. I guess nothing much has changed with the MAU (Malaysian Athletic Union). That incident, she said, has served as a reminder of how lucky the current Malaysian athletes are. Nowadays, our athletes get excellent medical treatment. All their expenses are taken care of. Even the facilities at the training grounds are world class, said Rajamani. But despite all this, we are still lagging so far behind and that makes my heart ache. Before she was struck by lightning, the Tapah-born Rajamani shot to stardom when she won the 200m, 400m and 800m in record fashion at the MAU National Championships that earned her a ticket to her maiden Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964. She also blitzed the track with four gold medals at the 1965 SEAP Games in Kuala Lumpur and three at the 1967 edition in Bangkok. Her crowning glory came at the Bangkok Asian Games in 1966 when she became the countrys first woman to win an Asiad gold in the 400m with a Games record. The two-time National Sportswoman award recipient was close to tears as she spoke about the challenges she faced in her journey to reach the pinnacle. I was sleeping a lot after my Form Five examinations and my dad decided that enough was enough and sent me to coach R. Suppiah. I never had my afternoon naps after that. I had to struggle through life. I used to borrow a bicycle to get from Silibin to my training centre in Coronation Park, she said. Sometimes, the brakes on the bike would give way and I had to stop it using my foot, especially when going downhill! I will not forget my good old running spikes too. I re-used them countless times. When they were worn out, my dad would go to our neighbourhood cobbler to get them fixed. Finally, a sponsor stepped in to give me a brand new one, added Rajamani, who earned RM280 a month as a trainee teacher in 1967. I was very independent. I paid my rent from the small income that I earned ... It took a lot of discipline and commitment to excel in both my athletics and teaching careers. As a teacher, she also coached her schools students and Marina Chin, one of Malaysias track darlings in the 70s, was one of her proteges. Rajamani also became a qualified physical trainer and handled the Thomas Cup squads in 1992 and 1994. With her wealth of experience and undying passion to keep Malaysian sports thriving, Rajamani has these words of wisdom for aspiring athletes and the MAU: Take pride in donning the national colours. Nothing should be in your mind except to hear the national anthem being played. Money can come and go but the joy of being the countrys ambassador supercedes everything else, she said. During my time, athletes had good rapport ... we stuck together. I remember once when my team-mates accompanied me back to my house after I told them that a few boys were disturbing me. Now, people mind their own business. It is also important to have sports officials who are compassionate and care for the athletes welfare. Over the years, I have not seen any progress in MAU. I hope the new faces will take the sport back to its glory days, added Rajamani, who is currently an active member of the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb).
09/07/1967 Injured Robert Burden  101.0  Cu Chi Army Base  
      Camping,Outside,Stormy Weather 
I had just arrived at the Cu Chi US Army base in Viet Nam as a combat > infantry medic, waiting to be assigned to a "line unit." While > waiting, I was given the assignment of inspecting the portable > kerosene heaters used to heat the water in metal garbage cans to a > temp. hot enough for the sanitary washing of metal mess trays and > kitchen utensils. > I was preparing a demonstration, for later that afternoon, of the > heaters > for the Vietnamese KP workers. > I was almost finished filling one of the heavy metal cans using a > cut-off > fire hose, a thick rubber hose covered with a heavy fabric. > The elevated water tank was atop a wooden tower which was, perhaps, > about > eight feet tall. > I had filled one garbage can to the top with water when the lightning > struck > the tower and came down the hose, so, given the volume of water in the > can, > it was quite an explosion. > Apparently, the bolt of lightning followed the water through the hose > came > out the end I was holding and struck the tank. > No one came to my aid for some time because everyone naturally thought > that > a incoming mortar round had exploded. Everyone in the area ran to small > sand-bagged bunkers in anticipation of the next "incoming round." > When I recovered consciousness, only a few seconds later, I think, I > instantly knew what happened although I had a difficult time convincing > anyone that a bolt of lightning had just passed through my hands! > My face, neck and hands were burned, but no worse than a bad sunburn. > My hair, although very short already, received an instant trim. > My vision and hearing took some time to recover. > All those many gallons of water were just instantly turned to steam, I > suppose, and dispersed in the explosion. There were some strips of > blacked > metal but I didn¹t stay to collect the debris. > I was eventually helped to the Aid Station across the road where a > doctor > briefly listened to my story, examined me and prescribed a strong > sleeping > medication, usually used as a pre-surgery sedative. Although I thought > it to > be an unusual treatment, I took the pills as he recommended and after > two > days of almost continuous sleep in an underground bunker, I awoke quite > refreshed. > Within several days I was assigned to my infantry unit and faced many > more > explosions of a different type in the next year of my tour. > The lightning strike gave me a strange sense of optimism, however. > I felt so fortunate having survived being nearly struck by lightning and > my > luck continued to hold in the field, unlike so many others with whom I > served. > > Sorry I have written so much about such a small incident! > Rob
08/27/1967 04:00 PM Killed woman  0.0  Denver Co 
  on a horse  N/A  Horse,Outside 
In 1967…a young woman was killed by lightning while horseback riding in the suburbs just west of Denver. Her horse died several hours after the incident. A young man and another young woman were also knocked from their horses by the impact of the lightning and required hospitalization.
06/06/1966 12:00 PM Killed James Clark  0.0  MI 
Dear Michael, Allow me to introduce myself; My name is Neil Galbraith and I live in Aberdeen Scotland. I was trying to find out some details of my partners father who was struck and killed by lightning in Michigan on the 06th June, 1966. His name was James Clark and he had recently immigrated to the U.S. from Scotland. If you have any details that you think may be of interest or, can point me in the right direction to obtain more information  it would be appreciated. Kind Regards, Neil. email:
07/07/1965 Injured Dennis Vitt  13.0  Philadelphia PA 
date not accurate  riding a bicycle    Bicycle,Outside 
A will to survive: Phila man has second brush with death By JOE MIZER, T-R Staff Writer T-R/Pat Burk Dennis Vitt and his wife Debby of New Philadelphia look at newspaper clippings from when he was struck by lightning. Advertisement Dennis Vitt is a survivor. Not only is the 55-year-old New Philadelphia resident recovering from a life threatening aortic arterial dissection, he also survived being struck by lightning when he was 13. Vitt was pronounced dead after the lightning strike in July 1965. He was riding his bicycle near New Philadelphia High when he was struck. And with no pulse, “no nothing,” he said, he was taken by ambulance to Union Hospital at Dover. Later that day, Vitt woke up in the hospital morgue and resumed his life. A former Tuscarawas County deputy sheriff, Vitt also served as a New Philadelphia police officer for 26 years. After retiring from the police force on Jan. 7, 2001, he went to work for the Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center at New Philadelphia. Little did he know that when he regained consciousness after being struck by lightning that Union Hospital would play a major role in his most recent survival. Also being credited with his second chance at life are an alert area physician, a helicopter being refueled at the Akron-Canton Airport, a surgeon at Cleveland Clinic and a new method of surgery just developed in the last year. The morning of April 28, 2007, Vitt was doing what he had done for years, and what he liked to do. He was lifting weights in his basement weight room. About 90 minutes into his workout, he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his chest. The pain grew steadily worse, and more intense, as it went around to his back. Vitt lay on the floor a few minutes, believing he might be suffering back spasms. Then he got up and tried to call his niece, a nurse. His niece wasn’t home, so he called his wife, Debby, who was at work in New Philadelphia. She advised him to check his pulse, “then the vomiting started,” Vitt said. He had been working out with a longtime friend, Vic Guida, who then picked up the telephone. Debby told Guida to get her husband to the hospital, and she also headed for the hospital. At first, Vitt said he wasn’t going to go. Then Guida gave him a choice – either go with him, or go in an ambulance. “I chose to go with Vic,” Vitt said. His condition was deteriorating steadily, but at the time, he didn’t know just how bad it was. By the time Guida got him to the hospital, the vomiting grew worse. Nurses were summoned and immediately took him into the emergency room, where he was given some medication for pain, then taken to X-ray for a CT scan. With what Vitt was able to tell the attending physician, Dr. John Current, about his condition, the doctor “recognized right away what he thought it was,” Debby said. And immediately, Current called Cleveland Clinic for a helicopter. Vitt said he doesn’t remember much about the events that followed, but his wife, who had arrived at the hospital while he was in X-ray, has a clear recollection. Current told her upon her arrival that he had called for a helicopter. “Then he took me out into the hallway and he told me what happened to him, and he (Dr. Current) said he didn’t expect him to make it to Cleveland,” she said. But along with the bad news came some good news. Current also told her that the helicopter – which normally would have had to come to Dover from Cleveland – was only eight minutes away because the helicopter had been at Akron-Canton Airport refueling. And it was a large helicopter, the one Vitt needed at the time. “And they heard the call,” Debby said of the helicopter’s crew. “And they said, ‘We’re this close, we’ll go get him.’” Within five minutes after she was told of the helicopter, it was at Union Hospital. Debby said her husband had been “packaged up” for transport in a matter of minutes and “they were running out the door with him.” Vitt said he has some recollection of saying goodbye to his wife at the emergency room door. He also remembers seeing and speaking to Greg Popham, a longtime friend and former police officer who was working security at the hospital. “And he said, ‘They’re going to take you to the best place around.’” Vitt doesn’t remember the helicopter ride at all, but knows that his wife and mother-in-law had to drive to Cleveland “not knowing when they got there if I would be dead or alive.” The official diagnosis for Vitt’s life-threatening condition is aortic arterial dissection. Aortic dissection, according to the American Heart Assn.’s Web site, occurs when the inner layer of the aorta’s artery wall splits open (dissects). When the aortic wall splits, the pulses of blood get inside the artery wall and under the inner layer, making the aorta split further. “His aorta tore from the top of his heart down to the top of his right leg,” said Debby, describing the process that nearly killed her husband. “It shut off the blood flow to all of his major organs, and his right leg.” She said one of his kidneys also shut down before surgery, and because his right leg was dying, there was a strong possibility it was going to be amputated. Before surgery, doctors at Cleveland Clinic had told her and her mother that Vitt might be paralyzed from his neck down because his spine wasn’t getting any blood. Paralysis also was a real possibility. So was death. Vitt’s medical condition was similar to that which killed actor/comedian John Ritter on Sept. 11, 2003. Ritter’s aortic dissection, however, went to his heart, Vitt’s dissection went away from his heart. Ritter was 54 when his aortic dissection occurred. Vitt also was 54 when his occurred. Vitt had no warning signs of what was about to occur on April 28. He had been to his family physician about a week before, and his health checked out. He does, however, have what the AHA says is the most common factor predisposing the aorta to dissection – high blood pressure. Vitt said he’s had high blood pressure, a hereditary condition, for more than 30 years. Vitt’s physical condition – primarily from lifting weights, a sport he pursued when he became a police officer to enable him to handle the job – and his relatively young age are credited with his survival. He’s proud that he built up his body, and his stamina, through weightlifting, and he did it all without illegal drugs or steroids. He weighed 195 pounds before his aortic dissection. He stands 5-foot-7 and currently weighs about 178 pounds. A graft of synthetic material, 6 to 7 inches long, has been attached to the aorta, and he has two stents in his body, one at the top of each leg. His surgeon, Dr. Sunitra Srivastava, has told him he’ll never go back to work. “If it happens again, you’re done,” he quoted her as saying. Vitt’s lifestyle, once active and robust, has been changed dramatically. He now is allowed to walk about 20 minutes a day, and can lift no more than 10 pounds at any one time for the rest of his life. “And the hardest part is watching her mow the grass ... stuff that I can’t do now,” he said, referring to his wife. He’s had a time adjusting to it, “but he understands, he has to,” said Debby. Vitt notes that he still can go to high school football games, something he’s always enjoyed. And he has received a lot of support from friends, including Guida; family, including the Vitts’ daughter, Heather Long of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and from police officers and retired police officers. And it’s quite obvious he still has a tremendous amount of support from his wife. She remained with him in intensive care during his 2 1/2 days in an induced coma. She was with him during the remainder of his 12-day stay in the hospital, and through his ensuing weeks of rehabilitation. But through it all, Vitt has emerged with a positive outlook. “I’m just happy to be here, just happy to be alive,” he said.
11/13/1964 Injured Gary Powell  12.0  Superior  
    N/A  Going to or from School,Outside,School,Walking 
News Tribune Nov. 13, 1964 • Twelve-year-old Gary Powell of Superior escaped serious injury yesterday morning when he was struck by lightning as he walked with a friend to Cooper School. He is in good condition in St. Joseph's Hospital.
07/26/1964 12:00 PM Killed Timmy Harris, 1 of 7  11.0  Camp Anawanna PA 
  boy scout camping    Boy Scouts,Camping,Ground Strike,Outside 
Fifty years ago, John Harris 11-year-old son, Timmy, was struck and killed by lightning on a Boy Scout camping trip at Camp Anawanna in Amity. In honor of Timmy Harris, his Boy Scout Troop No. 4 built an outdoor memorial chapel on the campground with money collected by John Harriss friends and neighbors in the months following Timmys death July 26, 1964. John Harris moved to North Carolina nearly two decades ago and seldom visited the memorial, but when he stopped last year, he was disappointed to see it had fallen into disrepair. Now 83 years old, Harris and his wife, Joann, Timmys stepmother, decided to restore the chapel. The result: a renovated chapel featuring a large wooden cross and a memorial plaque marking the date Timmy died. Wooden signs installed along a trail lead to the chapel. After I saw it last year, I thought it was a shame that it is was rundown. I figured Id fix it up, said Harris. I didnt like to see it in that condition. Im getting older, so I hired a man to help get it done. Washington contractor William Beam replaced broken cinder block that supports the cross, cleared overgrown brush, repaired the damaged concrete floor and replaced a wooden railing. Russell Brothers of Washington donated cinder blocks and other supplies for the project. Dave Russell of Russell Brothers is a former Eagle Scout who has known Harris for about 60 years. When I found out what he was doing, I had to get involved and give him a hand. Its terrible to lose a son like that, so young, said Russell. Timmy was on his first camping trip when he was killed by a bolt of lightning that injured six other Boy Scouts. The boys had just arrived at the camp and were finishing up putting up their tents when Timmy was struck. Harris said he was at home relaxing near his swimming pool with Joann when he received a telephone call that he needed to go to Washington Hospital. When he arrived, a doctor told him Timmy died from the lightning strike. Its been 50 years, but its still hard to talk about, said Harris, his eyes tearing up. Timmy was a good kid, easygoing and a nice kid. Camp Anawanna serves mainly Scout troops in Washington and Greene counties, and is used for weekend scouting trips and day trips. A Boy Scouts spokesman was out of the office and could not be reached for comment. Beam and Harris worked out an agreement that calls for Beam to visit the chapel twice a year to do maintenance and any repair work that is necessary. There are a lot of people in the Washington area who contributed money to the chapel when it was originally built. I want people to know it will be good for 50 more years now, said Harris. Were going to preserve it, as long as Im around. Bookmark and Share Make text smaller
04/01/1963 05:00 AM Injured Harry King  102.0  Warburton Victoria 
  walking in rain  N/A  During the storm,Outside,Raining,Stormy Weather,Umbrella,Walking,Wet 
april may of that year. Wet cold dark morning.Walking from house to train. a light rain failing, had umbrella up. skies opened up and rain fell in torents, enveloped in the center of a very bright light
12/08/1962 Killed 81 killed in plane  0.0  MD 
Peter Duffa
Daily Pilot 
  N/A  Airplane 
The most deadly lightning strike ever? On Dec. 8, 1962, a lightning strike sparked a fire in a fuel tank on a Pan Am jet over Maryland, killing all 81 people aboard. Fortunately, today's airplanes are virtually lightning-safe, thanks to design changes made after that.
07/12/1962 12:00 PM Killed man   0.0  Denver Co 
In 1962...lightning struck and killed a Denver man...while he was assisting a co-worker with his car.
07/07/1961 12:00 PM Killed Mr. Rooney  0.0  Fortescue NJ 
  fishing     fishing,Outside 
05/29/1961 02:30 PM Injured Barry W Smith  101.0  Lewistown MT 
  riding a horse    Before the storm,Cardiac Arrest,Dry,Horse,Outside,Stormy Weather 
riding a horse in stormy but dry weather
09/09/1960 04:00 PM Injured Cale Yarborough  0.0   
date not accurate       
NASCAR is a history of great matches — often clashes. Richard Petty vs. David Pearson. Petty vs. Bobby Allison. Cale Yarborough vs. the Allison brothers. Darrell Waltrip vs. The Establishment. Dale Earnhardt vs. everyone. NASCAR's roots grew out of the moonshine business. Fights in the pits were part of the culture. Part of the lure of NASCAR was its rough edges. Johnson is the guy in the white hat. But there are no guys in black hats. Besides, NASCAR no longer wants its drivers to criticize one another. The sport has taken politically correct to a point where personalities have the substance of pablum. Johnson is on the verge of becoming the first driver in NASCAR history to win four straight championships. The only other driver to have won three straight was Yarborough. And NASCAR's fans tired of Yarborough, although he and car owner Junior Johnson formed one of the most interesting tandems in the history of the sport. In his youth, Yarborough was struck by lightning and a rattlesnake. A great high school running back, he passed up a scholarship for racing. Of Yarborough, Bobby Allison once said: “He pushes the pedal to the floor then turns on the ignition and he doesn't lift until the car blows or he wins.”
09/09/1960 04:00 PM Injured Thomas Culley  0.0  NJ 
date not accurate  at ymca camp     
FRANKLIN (SOMERSET) — Years ago, Thomas Culley was struck by lightning while at a YMCA camp with some friends. He remembers having an out-of-body experience, during which he sat on the sidelines watching friends trying to revive him. Culley remembers hearing God talk to him, telling Culley to go and help his people. While Culley has tried to do that throughout his life, he's taking a bigger step forward in his mission. He will be installed on Sunday as pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Edison. "I had an awakening when I was struck by lightning," he said. "Ever since then, I have done church work for the Lord. I finally gave in and became a minister. I guess it was God's plan for me to be a pastor." Culley worked for AT&T for many years and retired in 1991, but he has never slowed down. He started his own accounting and consulting business and ran a Bible study group while helping his wife out with her ministry. Sharon Culley is pastor of Somerset Presbyterian Church in Somerset. In 2008, he began serving as her assistant. "That was great," said Thomas Culley. "I had all the privileges of being a pastor but none of the responsibilities. I could have just put my feet up on the desk and enjoyed myself, but lo and behold, the Lord had different plans for me." In May, he was asked to become pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, a church with about 25 member families. "Tom is a loving, caring man with a compassionate heart," said Sharon Culley. "I know he has had this calling for a long time." The Culleys met in the late 1970s while both were working for AT&T in Kansas City, Mo. They married in 1983 and transfers brought them to Buffalo, N.Y. and later to Somerset, where they now live. Corporate downsizing forced them to look for alternate careers. In 1987, Sharon Culley, who was raised Roman Catholic but converted to Baptist when she married, became licensed to preach. "I've always known, since I was 9, that one day I wanted to stand behind the altar," she said. "I knew God had something for me do to in his service, but as a Roman Catholic girl, I didn't know what that would be." (2 of 2) Sharon Culley's first solo assignment came in 2004, when she was chosen to head up Somerset Presbyterian Church. Thomas Culley was ordained as a Baptist minister in 2002 and has served as associate pastor of Traveler's Fellowship Baptist Church in Piscataway. This will be his first solo assignment as well. "My husband and I see ourselves as similar to waiters," said Sharon Culley. "We serve people and help guide them through the courses of their lives. The dessert is heaven." The different denominations of their churches make for some interesting comments from people, but it's no big deal to the couple. "A lot of people might think we have theological disagreements but we don't," said Thomas Culley. "We practice our Christianity differently, but that doesn't mean one is right and one is wrong. We have the same Bible and the same Jesus Christ. The only arguments we have are about what to cook for supper or did you take the trash out." They are now busier than ever with their respective ministries, but loving every minute of it. "It's great because we're in the same situation," said Thomas Culley. "If she has to get up at 3 a.m. to go see someone in the hospital, I understand. As leader of a church, you have pressures that people who are not in the ministry wouldn't understand." They also have five grown children and 17 grandchildren. But they make time to spend alone together, with Friday nights designated as date night. "After 6 p.m., both congregations and our children know not to call us unless it's an emergency," said Thomas Culley.
08/22/1960 02:02 PM Killed Robert & Marjori Shook  0.0  Bay City MI 
  crossing street     Outside 
This article is about my parents.. I am the youngest, Jacquelyn.....My siste, Tracey and brother Mike, were standing at the front door and saw my parents struck by the lightning. I contacted the officers who responded to the scene.. One wrote me back, told him his experience with lightning hitting around them. They were awarded medals of valor....We were told the Michigan State did a report on the lightning in the area after the incident.... ROBERT E. and MARJORIE SHOOK - Shook Rites Scheduled for Thursday - Double funeral services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. for Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Shook, 454 Marian Drive, Linwood, killed by separate bolts of lightning in front of their home on Sunday. The Rev. John R. Hieftje, of Bay City, will officiate at the services at Stapish Funeral Home. Burial will be in Floral Gardens Cemetery where military rites are scheduled for the husband, a Korean War veteran. Shook, 27, and his wife Marjorie, 22, were fatally injured shortly after 2 p.m. when a lightning storm broke upon them. They had started towards their home from the home of neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Chaffee. Mrs. Shook, following about 50 feet behind her husband, was struck in the middle of the gravel road in front of their home. The husband about 50 feet ahead of her, turned towards his wife and was struck by another bolt. Three small children: Tracey 3, Michael 2 and Jacqueline 1, are being cared for by relatives. [ The Bay City Times, Bay City, Michigan August 23, 1960 . Submitted by Melva Taylor] August 22, 1960 - pg 1 ?? Lightning Kills Man and Wife - Two Successive Bolts Fell Linwood Pair - Deaths Orphan 3. The brief violet storm at Linwood, produced a cascade of lightning to kill Robert Shook, 27 and his wife Marjorie 22, in front of their home at 454 Marian Drive., shortly after 2 p.m. Shook, a Bay City Sears, Roebuck mechanic, and his wife had left their three small children alone for a few minutes to cross the street to visit Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Chaffee when the storm struck. The Shooks started to run home, the husband first, when lightning struck Mrs. Shook in the middle of the street just as she threw a plastic raincoat over her head. David Stone, 15, of 462 Marian, saw the tragic accident. After Mrs. Shook was struck down, "The man turned around and looked at her. He was on his own lawn and when he turned around, he got hit. Then the lightning kept coming right in that general area, a dozen or more times." Stones father, Otto, said "My neighbor, Ernie (Ernest D. Cull, 460 Marian Dr., ) saw it happen and he called to me to call an ambulance. He went out the front door, but lightning kept popping right around them, and nobody could get near them. We started out five different times and we got back inside when it busted right in front of us". The elder Stone said no one approached the bodies as the lightning kept ripping down in straight lines until State Trooper Robert Wood arrived five minutes later and began applying artificial respiration to Mrs. Shook "with lightning still hitting around him." Wood was joined by Trooper Fred Willie, who gave artificial respiration to Shook. Both troopers continued the treatment as ambulances arrived, carried the couple to Mercy Hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival. Coroner William F. Stapish said electrical shock was the cause of death. The troopers said the bodies were not marked, but lightning had knocked the shoes off Shook. The Shook children, Tracey 3, Michael 2 and Jacqueline 1, are in the care of an aunt in Pinconning. The Shook's, former Bay Cityans, had lived in the subdivision on the edge of Linwood for more than a year. He was a veteran of the Korean fighting.
01/01/1960 12:00 PM Injured Gretel Ehrlich  0.0  WY 
date not accurate  outside walking dogs    Cardiac Arrest,Dogs,Outside,Walking 
An electrifying experience gave Ehrlich a second chance at life Lauren Glaves-Barrett - Contributing Writer Gretel Ehrlich wakes up many mornings in the back of a pickup truck. It’s not because she’s the victim of a kidnapping, or even a roaming vagabond. In fact, Ehrlich is an award-winning writer and a visiting professor of environmental studies on campus. However, after years of traveling in some of the most remote places, sleeping in the back of a truck for Ehrlich seems more like a luxury than a discomfort. Ehrlich grew up an avid bookworm, always reading and looking at maps about distant lands. From this childhood inquisitiveness, she cultivated an interest in the unique stories of different people and their diverse backgrounds. “I have met a lot of people by chance, through going to different places and interacting with them … I have a vertical sense of how one relates, how people are shaped by a place and how they shape a place,” Ehrlich said. Though she has grown up since her days of youthful fancies, Ehrlich has retained many of her childhood passions well into her adult years. The same places from her daydreams are now permanent memories from her many lengthy travels. Ehrlich’s novel Islands, the Universe, Home describes life on her ranch in Wyoming and her powerful love for nature. “There was a big pond or lake that I went down to, and I would go through a contemplative ritual at the same three places along the pond – at the beginning of spring and its end,” Ehrlich said. “At the time it was both an internal and external transformative event. Each day I could see small things as they were happening, like the ice coming apart and melting little by little, and coyotes and wolves coming to drink from the pond. It was stunning.” By the time Islands, the Universe, Home was published, Ehrlich had already extensively traveled around the world, but none of these experiences compared to being struck by lightning. For Ehrlich, this was her truly life-changing experience. “I was on my ranch in Wyoming and the sky was clear over my head,” Ehrlich said. “I went for a walk with my dogs on this mountain road and I heard distant thunder. I called my dogs and I remember saying ‘you’ll be okay,’ and that was all. [My dogs and I] were all hit by lightning. We had been thrown into the air, but we all survived ... It felt like I was dying a slow death.” Although Ehrlich lived to tell the tale, her recovery process was far from trouble-free. Immediately after being struck by lightning, Ehrlich’s heart completely stopped. Before the end of her recuperation, she suffered two more cardiac arrests. “My parents brought me to an excellent hospital in California, but my recovery was not swift,” she said. “My sympathetic nervous system had been impacted … and during the months that followed I would faint and lose consciousness. I had trouble walking, thinking and talking and I lost control of my associative processes – I would know what I needed to do, but would have trouble following through.” Incredibly, Ehrlich survived the experience and made a full recovery after incredible support from her parents, cardiologist and childhood friends. Her 1995 book, A Match to the Heart: One Woman’s Story of Being Struck by Lightning, chronicled her astonishing experience and revival. “The title was my editor’s choice. It fit my experience perfectly because it was a match that made my heart stop. [The book teaches that] the unfolding of one’s heart when you’re nose to nose with death can be painful, and that you have to wonder how you can reignite your life,” Ehrlich said. The answer for Ehrlich was nature. Out in the openness of the rough country, she was able to slowly recover and contemplate her life. “I would get up early in the isolated place where I was staying, where it was just nature, the mountains and wildlife,” Ehrlich said. “I would greet the day, letting the place speak to me. I used to write in long hand outside in little notebooks, sitting in front of my cabin to keep it as intimate as possible.” Once Ehrlich was back on her feet, she refused to let her brush with death affect the continuation of her adventures into the unknown. By chance, she was offered the opportunity to travel to Greenland and see firsthand the traditional hunting expeditions of Inuit tribes. “I met this Inuit couple who invited me to come up to their village and live with them,” Ehrlich said. “They handed me to their friends further and further up the coast. We went around these great big dog sleds that were over 13 feet long and pulled by dogs. They were completely subsistence hunters and we lived off the ice eating walrus and seals.” Ehrlich’s various journeys cover a variety of lands and people, but the constant strain among these travels is the connection to the wilderness. This fondness for nature was one of the reasons that brought her to the College in the idyllic Berkshire County. “I love taking walks in Hopkins Forest. The setting is a really beautiful area to walk or hike in. The physical isolation here makes the academic environment thrive. It’s easy to develop a sense of community here because you can pay attention to your studies.” Ehrlich has not only found her niche academically on campus, but she has also settled into her Berkshire surroundings. In many ways, for Ehrlich, the wilderness – and even the back of her pickup truck – is more like home than the confines of a residential building.
07/17/1959 03:50 PM Injured Rocky Gabaldon  0.0  Prescott Az 
July 17, 1959 "'I felt like I was buzzing all over when the lightning bolt hit me,' explained Rocky Gabaldon, a Prescott school custodian who was struck by lightning at 3:50 p.m. yesterday. 'But today, I feel okay - with the exception of a headache and a sore toe.'"
06/09/1959 12:00 PM Killed Donnie Smith  0.0  McCabe Golf Course TN 
      Direct hit,Golf Course,Outside 
Over the past 89 years, weather has played a role in many, if not most, of the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournaments. It did again this year when rain interrupted play on two of the three days in the tournament played last week at McCabe Golf Course. An interesting reunion took place during one of those delays. Jim Fyke, who spent 25 years as director of Metro Parks and Recreation, dropped by and started telling about playing the course almost exactly 54 years to the date before  actually 54 years and three days  when he was part of one of the most tragic weather-related events to ever take place at McCabe. He and several buddies from old DuPont High School were playing the course when a lightning storm suddenly popped up. One of Fykes buddies was Boots Scott, and as Fyke told the story Scott actually walked up from behind. He just happened to be at McCabe to watch his grandson play in the Schooldays. A large group gathered as Fyke and Scott recounted that day back in 1959. Before they could find shelter, Fyke, who was carrying a club, was hit on the arm by lightning and knocked about 20 feet before landing on his backside. Fred Maynard, a part of Fyke and Scotts group, was also knocked down. Playing ahead of Fyke and Scotts group on the No. 6 hole were four Trevecca College students, including Donnie Smith, who was set to graduate the next day. Smith was pulling his golf cart by its metal handle. The leather grip, which had come off earlier, was in his pocket. Smith was also struck by lightning and killed instantly. It was a sight Fyke and Scott remember vividly. We looked right up ahead of us, and (Smith) was hit right in the top of the head, comes out of his shoes, and just like it does when it hits a tree the lightning comes out into the ground, Fyke said. Fyke, Scott and Maynard ran to a parks employee mowing a nearby fairway, and he raced to the clubhouse to call for help. I was just a kid, and ever since seeing that I dont play if it looks like weather like that might come up; I dont mess around when weather comes up like that, said Scott, who went on to become the golf and basketball coach at Beech High. If I do get caught when it comes up like that, I dont stay outside, I dont stay in shelters, I get inside.
03/14/1959 11:45 PM Injured Mrs. Carl Kohls  0.0  Green Bay Wi 
  in bathroom    Indoors 
Today in history March 14, 2010 Comments (0) Recommend Print this page E-mail this article Share Type Size A A A March 14, 1959 — Mrs. Kohls Hit by Lightning During Storm: Mrs. Carl Kohls, 71, 1439 Smith Street, has a story about an unusual wintertime accident. She reported feeling ill at about midnight Saturday and got out of bed and headed for the first floor bathroom. As she flicked on the electric light switch she was struck in the side of the head by a bolt of lightning, knocking her up against a table in the kitchen. She said she was only semiconscious and remembers lying on the floor about 20 minutes before she was able to awaken her husband asleep in the bedroom. The bathroom door was partly ripped off the hinges and the door panel was loosened. Mrs. Kohls said this morning she had no ill effects except for a bruised head. She did not require hospital treatment. — Compiled by the Brown County Libraryr
09/08/1958 Killed Mark, Trudy & Diana Reinhard  0.0  Big Bear lake Ca  
  taking shelter in a shed on shoreline    Outside 
Blogs SEARCH You are here: LAT Home > Blogs > The Daily Mirror News/Opinion California | Local National World Business Sports Campaign '08 Science Environment Opinion Arts/Entertainment Entertainment The Guide Arts & Culture The Envelope Living Travel Health Autos Home & Garden Food Image Books Living Green Video Photography Obituaries Crosswords/Sudoku Your Scene Blogs Columnists Print Edition Readers Rep Corrections All Sections Buy, Sell & More Jobs Cars Real Estate Foreclosure Sale Apartments Personals Deals at Local Stores Coupons Newspaper Ads Place an Ad In the Newspaper Online Settings/Services Sign In Register Personalized News E-Mail Newsletters RSS Feeds Help Contact Us L.A. Times Archives Reprint Requests Work for Us Home Delivery Customer Support Subscribe « 1920s movie star Anita Page gets her first three roles, July 8, 1928 | Main | Movie star photo mystery » Accident kills children of ex-football star, Dodgers beat Cardinals, 7-5, September 8, 1958 Tragedy strikes at Big Bear Lake Lightning bolt kills two children as father and brother watch from a distance, unable to help. The family's two-week summer vacation at the cabin in Big Bear was nearly over. Soon they would be heading back home to La Crescenta, where Bob was a manager at Los Angeles Automotive Works and his wife, Betty, was a homemaker. On that morning, Bob took their four children down to the lake while Betty stayed behind at the cabin about three miles away. While Bob and his son, Bob Jr., went out fishing in a boat, the other three children played along the shore: Mark, 7; Trudy, 13; and Diana, 14. In a moment, there was a cloudburst and the three children ran into a shed to get out of the rain. Before Bob and his son could get to shore, a bolt of lightning hit the shed. Mark and Trudy were unconscious and Diana was injured. Bob put the three children into the family station wagon and on the way to Santa Anita Hospital at Lake Arrowhead, he and Harvey Pedersen, a teenager from nearby Fawnskin, gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to two of the youngsters. At the hospital, emergency crews from the Big Bear and Fawnskin fire departments gave the children oxygen. Mark and Trudy were pronounced dead. Although the first day's story said Diana was burned, blinded and partially paralyzed, doctors found her injuries to be far less serious. According to The Times, she suffered only a slight eye injury that would not affect her sight. Her hand, which had been paralyzed, returned to normal, and she hadn't been burned. At the funeral, the Rev. Bernard Traveille of First Baptist Church of La Crescenta urged mourners "not to let our memory enshrine despair." Instead, he said "to have faith, to harbor hope that Mark and Trudy have found a better life and to have confidence in the love of God." Mark Lawrence Reinhard, 7, and his sister Trudy Lee Reinhard, 13, were cremated and their remains were entombed at Grand View Memorial Park. Bob Reinhard, who was named All-American in 1940 and 1941, was captain of the Los Angeles Dons. He was the No. 1 draft choice of the Chicago Cardinals in 1950 but was traded to the Rams in exchange for Bob Shaw, Tom Keane and Gerry Cowhig. He retired in 1951 to pursue a career in engineering. Bob Reinhard Jr. went on to play football for Stanford, where he was a punter, and he was drafted by the Packers in 1970. More information about the problems at Grand View Memorial Park is here.
07/28/1958 Killed boy & man  0.0  Vacaville CA 
    N/A  Outside,Taking Shelter,Under Trees 
On this date in The Sun Lightning kills five in storms By Staff Reports In 1958, the San Bernardino Daily Sun ran an Associated Press story in which it was reported that five persons were struck dead and two gravely injured by lightning flashes that bolted from towering thunderheads, as scattered storms swept through Central California. The Solano County Sheriff's office said its officers were investigating the death of three boys found in a field near Vacaville, 60 miles northeast of San Francisco. A sheriff's deputy in nearby Fairfield confirmed that the boys had almost certainly been struck by lightning. The youths were hiking when a storm blew into the area. Their charred remains were found under a tree where they had apparently tried to find shelter. The Weather Bureau blamed a mass of moist air originating near Baja California for the plethora of thunderheads that bombarded the coast, the Central Valley and the Sierra foothills with brilliant displays of lightning. The incessant lightning also caused a number of fires throughout the state. Other victims included a 43-year-old construction worker, who was killed when a bolt of lightning struck his head a mere seconds before he grounded the blade of the grader he was driving, and a 14-year-old boy died after he was struck by lightning near Bass Lake. Two peach pickers were injured near Merced after a lightning bolt hit a tree in which they were working.
07/28/1958 Killed 3 boys  101.0  Vacaville CA 
    N/A  During the storm,On a Hill,Outside,Stormy Weather,Under Trees 
VACAVILLE -- When Walter Wren looks at the hill now crowned by the KUIC transmission tower, he sometimes thinks of the three childhood friends he lost there. Now the retired Vacaville teacher and former planning commissioner has asked the Vacaville Community Services Commission to name the hill that separates Vacaville from Lagoon Valley after them. The hill was where he and his friends, Joey Kennedy, Steve Jones and Pat Jones played in the 1950s. The four were Vacaville natives and were in Boy Scouts together. "We played baseball together," Wren said. "Joey and I were best buddies." "When we were kids, it was our playground," Wren said of the many small trails the youths explored. But Wren wasn't with them that day in July 1958 when the three youths went up the hill to play, shortly before a summer storm swept into Vacaville. "A storm came through, the call went out that the boys were missing and we went to find them," Wren said. "We found them up at the top where the transmission tower now stands." The three youths' bodies were found underneath a tree that had been struck by lightning by John Campbell, another of Wren's close boyhood friends. The three made the fatal mistake of sheltering there, Wren said. The idea of getting the hill named after his friends struck Wren a few years ago when Vacaville bought the land as open space to protect its ridgelines from being developed. Wren walked the land, got approval from the boys' family members he could find and then approached the commission Sept. 1. The request took the Community Services Commission by surprise, chairman Curtis Hunt said. "We have procedures for naming buildings, for naming streets, but we don't have any procedures for naming a hill, so need to have staff advise us on that," Hunt said. The city is considering Wren's suggestion, Vacaville Community Services director Don Schatzel said. It would have to get community services commission and city council approval before it becomes reality. "We are still very early in the process," Schatzel said. "We won't be making a decision for some time." As for the possibility of having the hill named after his friends, Wren said, "I would like that." Campbell, now a dentist in Washington, told Wren he would come down for the ceremony if the hill is dedicated. "I have wondered for the last 40 years what they would be doing today," Wren said. "We (Wren and Campbell) had full lives, like the ones they would have had if they had lived." Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at
07/28/1958 12:00 PM Injured 2 fruit pickers  0.0  Merced County Cadiz 
July 28 in Merced County history: Two struck by lightning in freak storm July 28, 1958: Two fruit pickers were hit and severely burned by a bolt of lightning, lights were knocked out, and more than a dozen grass fires were started as a rare, spectacular electrical storm struck Merced County this morning. The fury of the storm alarmed most residents and led one frightened Merced resident to ask the police department if the countryside was being bombed. In the midst of the lighting and thunderclaps, a hundredth of an inch of rain fell in Merced. It was only the fourth time in the last 62 years that rain was recorded here in July. The last previous July rainfall was in 1950, when a hundredth of an inch was measured. The storm lasted from approximately 6 to 7 a.m. and was not as destructive as it sounded, except in a peach orchard on the DePalma Ranch a mile southeast of Ballico, where two pickers were felled, apparently by the same lighting bolt. Witnesses said that one of the victims was standing on a ladder picking peaches when the lightning crashed into his shoulder and coursed through his body and out his right foot. His trousers were shredded, the ladder was splintered and the tree was denuded of both fruit and leaves. As he fell to the ground, unconscious, the lightning arced past four rows of trees and struck another picker. It ripped his pith helmet into small pieces, tore off most of his clothing and shredded his boots. He, too, was rendered unconscious.
01/29/1957 Injured Rufus Bodley & son  18.0  Hartselle AL 
  Bobby knocked backwards  N/A   
Jan. 29, 1957-Rufus Bodley and his 18-year-old son, Bobby, were struck by lightning during last night’s electrical storm. Bobby was rushed to the Hartselle Hospital where he is in fair condition. Mr. Bodley was knocked backwards about eight or ten feet by the lightning, but was not injured.
07/15/1956 03:00 PM Injured Robin Arthur 1 of 2  0.0  TX 
  hunting on top of hill    Hunting,On a Hill,Outside 
When I was 15 I was hunting in the Texas Panhandle. My friend and I were walking the 'canyons' around the Canadian River. We had topped a small hill when a bolt of lightning struck about 30 feet north of us. We were both knocked done and felt a strong 'shocking' sensation but were apparently unharmed. I am now 69 and still have some problems. After the 'strike' I no longer remember peoples names. I remember their faces and know I am supposed to know who they are; but I don't. I suffer tinnitus in both ears, had migraine headaches for years, bone damage and bone growth (extra knobs on heels, ankles knees), and have moderate nerve damage to hands and feet. I am forgetful of short term things. I have had more than 45 surgical procedures (35 actual surgeries) including three lower back, four neck and two shoulder reconstructions. I am in constant unrelenting pain in shoulder neck and lower back with extreme weakness in the lower back. I require walker to stand straight. My school work went from A's and B's to C's and D's. According to friends I went from pleasant to arrogant and quick tempered. Over many years I have developed patience so that my temper is not displayed. I was considered the most likely to be imprisoned in my high school class (fortunately they were wrong!). All of this was unexplained until I stumbled upon your website today. Perhaps lightning is not the total cause but I feel sure it is a major contributor. while there is not much I can see that will help just knowing a probable cause for the changes may help me understand what happened top me. Thanks for the site James (Robin) Arthur Borger Texas PS - We required no medical treatment and we do realize how lucky we were. A few feet farther north and we may not have had symptoms to complain of! It was in mid July of 1956. We were headed home because we knew not to be out when storms came. It was hot and humid and we could see clouds building rapidly overhead. The very first lightning strike (about 3 PM) was the one that 'got' us. We were atop a hill that had been split into two hills and had a 10" gas pipeline partially exposed and then totally exposed as it traversed the gap between the two hills. Strangely enough the strike was down on the north side of the hill and not at the peak where we were. We were actually running to get off of the hill ASAP. Just like tornados you can't outrun lightning. I do remember that we were both carrying rifles and when the bolt hit we just jerked as if we were in a seizure and then hit ground. We were dazed for a few minutes and then the rain hit and left in a hurry. We never told our parents because we wanted to be able to return and hunt again and they would have said no. Normally supigity ndoesn't run in my genes but this was one time it did. Ironically, when I enlisted in the USAF I became a weather observer and one of the duties was to record lightning strikes.
06/26/1955 12:00 PM Injured Bob Lewis  0.0  Fort McCulloough AL 
date not accurate      CPR,Door,Military 
More than fifty years ago a lightning strike sent a Floyd County man flying across the barracks at a military base. Since it is 'National Lightning Safety Week', Bob Lewis, a former University of Georgia football player sat down to talk about the day he says he almost died. In 1955, Bob Lewis was serving in The National Guard at Fort McCullough in Alabama. Lewis remembers, "We had been out in the field and had just gotten back into our barracks...real bad storm was coming up." What happened next would forever change how he looks at the sky. "I remember standing at the door and looking down the street and i remember seeing a flash." That is the last thing he remembers, his bunkmates later told the then 17-year-old what they witnessed. "Imagine a guy 240 or 250 pounds flying through the air and I hit the back bunk. After that a friend gave me CPR. I woke up in the hospital not really knowing what had happened, they told me what happened. I felt like I had been in a brawl. Every muscle in my body hurt." says Lewis. The lightning strike kept Lewis in the hospital for 2 weeks, and his entire body sore and tingling for several days. Emergency management officials say stories like Lewis' proves the fact that lightning is one of nature's most powerful and deadliest forms of weather. That is why they are asking folks to be extra vigilant this time of year. Pikeville Public Safety Director, Paul Maynard says, "If you can hear thunder then you are in jeopardy of being struck by lightning. That is kind of your first sign, your first line of defense when you hear thunder you really need to start seeking cover immediately." Now, when storms start rolling in Lewis says you can be sure he is in a safe place. "I'm inside..somewhere hiding." He says, "When the storms come, you gotta go. You can't finish mowing the yard, you can't finish doing this and that. If you can run, run...get out of the way because mother nature has a way of catching up with you." Lewis says it took him about fifty years to not be fearful of storms but rather have a respect for their power. For more on lightning safety visit the link listed above.
06/14/1955 12:00 PM Killed 2 dead 48 injured  0.0   
  at Royal Ascot stadium    Outside,Sports Field,Stadium 
From The Times August 5, 2008 Weather Eye: life threatening lightning strikes Paul Simons A lightning bolt struck 91 people at a car racetrack in Norway on Sunday. The lightning hit a stadium and hurled spectators from their seats while others ran in panic. A fleet of ambulances and helicopters ferried the injured to hospitals in Flisa, near the Swedish border, but there were no serious injuries. There have been many instances of open sports stadiums hit by lightning. But, according to a study in the US, the threat from lightning strikes is not just the lightning itself, but also crowd control. In 1998 lightning struck a concert in a stadium in Washington DC, killing one of the audience and setting off mass panic among the crowd that caused more injuries in narrow exit tunnels. Stadiums are now advised to plan for swift mass evacuations. In the UK, one of the worst lightning strikes in a sports arena was at Royal Ascot on July 14, 1955. On a hot and muggy day, a thunderstorm broke during the afternoon and sent crowds rushing for shelter as rain pelted down. Soon afterwards lightning struck a metal fence and, even though no one was struck, the voltage gradient from the lightning ripped through the ground and scythed down crowds packed in and around a nearby marquee. The aftermath looked like a battlefield, as the injured lay on the ground and others wandered around dazed and shocked. Two spectators died and 48 others were injured. Possibly the world’s worst sporting tragedy caused by lightning was in 1998, when an entire football team were killed and 30 others injured during a match in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the most lightning-prone places in the world.
08/19/1954 04:00 AM Injured Samuel Skeen  102.0  Fort Knox KY 
  on a rifle range  N/A  Military,Outside,Taste of Copper 
I was on the rifle range Aug-19-1954, about 1600 hours (4:00pm) ; when a flash of lightning struck the telephone line nearby that was laying on the ground in front of me. The lightning flashed and hit my helmet knocking me to the ground 15 to 25 feet away from where I was kneeling. A nearby witness, CPL. FRANK L. OLIVERIO, said , " PVT SKEEN was thrown to the ground, and as we came to him he appeared to be dazed and quite shaken up" Pvt JAMES S. HUNT, a friend of mine, who was standing on a hill near my position saw me when I fell to the ground. He ran up to where I was laying on the ground, and he asked me if I was all right, ... " He said I only recognized his voice but not his face ". I was loaded on the back of a jeep and taken to the aid station. I did not remember anything much, from the time the lighting struck the telephone line until I came to on the back of that jeep on the way to aid station. I had no entry or exit wounds, but the skin of my lips pealed off and the skin above my eye brows also pealed off. I had a very heavy taste of copper in my mouth which lasted for about a week . The next morning I had severe muscle spasms all over my body. The worst pain was located in my lower back and my left leg and knee.
05/02/1954 Injured Isaac Lloyd Hollingsworth  32.0  Springport IN 
  taking shelter under tree    During the storm,Outside,Taking Shelter,Under Trees 
In Springport do you have a claim to fame? "On May 2, 1954, at 2:20 p.m. I was struck by lightning. I got burnt on my foot and my arm. It burnt my boot off. I can't move my three toes yet on my right foot." What happened? "I was hunting mushrooms back there in the woods. I was under the tallest tree in 25 acres of woods. I seen the light but I didn't hear the thunder. Some people don't believe me. That was weird. It blowed about three feet of the top off (the tree)." So what's the moral to the story? "Don't get under a tree when it's raining." Does severe weather scare you now? "It still does. Lightning especially." Are those overalls your regular uniform? "I wear overalls every day. About the only time you see me cleaned up is on Sunday."

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