A direct lightning strike on Lake Harding left a 34-year-old man dead Friday and two others on the boat injured, the Lee County Coroner’s Office said Saturday.
Toby Burrow of Valley, Ala., was identified as the ninth lightning strike victim of the year in the United States, said Lee County Coroner Bill Harris. He was rushed to East Alabama Medical Center after the 8:13 CST incident near Lee Road 793 and pronounced dead at 9:35 p.m. CST. Two others on the boat sought medical attention on their own after the lightning strike.
Harris said Burrow and four other people were on the boat when a storm struck suddenly as they were attempting to get to land. What appears to be a direct lightning strike hit Burrow and the boat, leaving the vessel disabled, Harris said.
Two occupants swam from the boat to land while the other two performed CPR on Burrow until they reached land. There were no signs of life when Lee County Deputies, East Alabama Medical Center Emergency Medical Services and the Beulah Volunteer Fire and Rescue responded to an area on Lake Harding near Lee Road 793.
The coroner said he can’t recall any other lightning strike deaths in Lee County over the last three decades. The National Weather Service said Burrow is the ninth person in the United States to die from a lightning strike this year. The other eight deaths were one each in Colorado and Texas, two in North Carolina and four in Florida.
The death remains under investigation by Lee County Coroner’s Office and Lee County Sheriff’s Office.