GEORGETOWN, S.C. — Authorities say lightning struck at a popular river gathering spot in South Carolina on Independence Day, killing one person and injuring as many as a dozen.
Lightning hit near Lawshe Plantation in Georgetown County on Thursday afternoon, news outlets reported. The hunting attraction and event venue is located along the Black River near the coast.
Lightning hit a tree on shore next to the river, WCSC quoted Georgetown County Battalion Chief David Geney as saying. The strike injured as many as a dozen people, multiple news outlets reported.
Three people were taken to a hospital for treatment, one of whom was in critical condition and died shortly after, WPDE reported . He was identified as Ryan Gamble, 44, of Andrews, the TV station said, quoting Georgetown County Deputy Coroner Chase Ridgeway. The other two received minor injuries, the station said.
“We were just sitting in the river waiting for the storm to blow over,” survivor Joseph Dalzell told the station. “The lightning hit the tree and ran through all of us.”
Asked what it felt like, survivor Billie Camlin replied, “Like a shock through your body. Indescribable.”
Camlin said everyone who was affected belonged to one group of family and friends, ranging in age from 9 to 46.
Geney said the area is remote, and pouring rain and unpaved back roads made it difficult to reach the area.