South Carolina Man Walking on
Killed by Lightning
August 1, 2007
A man was killed by a lightning strike
as he walked on the beach at Hilton Head Island in Beaufort County,
Authorities said that 22-year-old Michael Jurist, a part time resident
of the island and his mother, Vesna Jurist, were taking an afternoon
walk on the beach when a thunderstorm quickly developed.
Storms that would dump heavy rain along
South Carolina's southern coast were moving into the area at the
time, according to the National Weather Service. "There was
a lot of lightning," said Mike Wagner, operations manager of
Shore Beach Service, the company hired to patrol the island's beaches.
Almost immediately after being struck,
two lifeguards arrived and began performing CPR on Michael, who
was unresponsive, lying on the beach. Medics arrived within minutes
and continued trying to revive him while on the way to the hospital.
Michael Jurist was pronounced dead at Hilton Head Regional Medical
Physicians indicated that Michael's injuries were consistent with
those of a lightning strike, said Captain Bob Bromage, Beaufort
County's death investigator. Jurist's mother also exhibited evidence
of being struck, but her injuries were more minor, authorities said.
"Its a freak accident, and it's
really unfortunate", said Bromage.
Michael Jurist's death was Beaufort County's first lightning fatality
"If you can hear a thunderstorm, you pretty much can be struck
by lightning", said John Quagliariello, a meteorologist with
the National Weather Service in Charleston, SC.