‘She has proven a fighter:’ Florida teen critical after being struck by lightning while hunting

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. — Deputies in Putnam County say a local teen is fighting for her life after being struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon.


According to the sheriff’s office, the 16-year-old and her father were hunting when lightning struck a nearby tree and hit them.

Deputies say the father lost consciousness and awoke to find his daughter wasn’t breathing.

READ: Virginia murder suspect arrested in Lady Lake

The father called 911 and began CPR himself until deputies arrived on the scene and took over for him.

The Putnam County deputies continued until emergency medical personnel arrived and took over the attempts to save the teen’s life.

READ: Report: Altamonte Springs police officer arrested for fleeing traffic stop in Volusia County

The teen was taken to HCA Florida Putnam Hospital where she was stabilized but remains in critical condition.

“We stand with our community as we rally for this teen,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said. “She has proven a fighter and our prayers extend to her , her family and friends.”

READ: Newborn sperm whale calf strands on beach near Marineland

Members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office joined students, faculty and community members at the Palatka Junior-Senior High School flag pole Wednesday to pray for the teen.

The sheriff’s office warned Thursday that they’ve seen an increase in lightning strikes in the area over the last two days.

They’re using Tuesday’s incident as an opportunity to remind the community about the dangers of lightning as several more days of rain, thunder, and lightning are forecast for the area.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.