New Jersey Teen in Critical Condition
after Lightning Strike
June 14, 2007
Cherry Hill, N.J.-- A teenage boy remains
in critical condition at Temple University Hospital burn unit in
Philadelphia, PA. after being struck by lightning during a thunderstorm
on Tuesday afternoon.
14-year-old Zachary Yizzi, an eighth-grade student at Carusi Middle
School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was walking just two blocks from
his home when he was struck by lightning while seeking shelter under
some trees in the 300 block of Monroe Avenue, just after 5.30 p.m.
"A neighbor called and said his
wife heard a loud bang, looked out the window and saw a child laying
face down next to a tree with his shirt on fire," police officer
Lt. Bill Kushina said.
Rescue workers arrived just minutes
after receiving the emergency call. The boy's shirt was still "burning
and smoldering,' according to Battalion Chief Rick Harris of the
Cherry Hill Fire Department.
Remnants of the Zachary's charred clothes were still stuck to a
tree near the lightning strike on Wednesday afternoon.
Zachary's heart had stopped and needed
three charges from a defibrillator to start again, Harris said.
He was taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, but later
transferred to Temple University Hospital.
"It was bad, the individual was struck by lightning and it
was pretty much as worse as it can get," Lt. Arthur West said.
On average, New Jersey has one fatality a year from lightning, according
to Ray Kruzdlo, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service
in Westampton. The state ranks in the bottom 20 in the nation for
According to the National Weather Service, the odds of being struck
by lightning are about 1 in 600,000.