Man killed by lightning strike on New Jersey golf course identified

Authorities have identified a man who died after being struck by lightning on a golf course in Westampton, New Jersey as storms moved through the area Wednesday.

Around 3:47 p.m., emergency crews responded to a call for an unconscious male at the Burlington County Country Club.

Crews arrived on the scene and found Michael Ward, 70, of Florence, unconscious near the 7th hole. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 Authorities say it was evident from the scene that Ward had been struck by lightning as isolated thunderstorms were in the area. 

The course was closed for the remainder of the day.

Wednesday's incident is believed to be the first known lightning-related death of 2021. 

According to the National Weather Service, 2020 saw a total of 17 lighting-related deaths. Typically, lightning strikes kill about three to four people in the U.S. by the second week of June. Five were killed by that date last year.

According to National Geographic, around 100 cloud-to-ground lightning bolts strike Earth's surface every second, which is nearly three billion strikes per year. NWS reports that lightning strikes the U.S. about 25 million times per year.

To learn more about lightning safety, head over to the NWS website.



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