Florida teen dies after being struck by lightning while hunting with dad

Deputies in Putnam County say a local teen who was struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon has died.


The victim was identified by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Thursday as 16-year-old Baylee Holbrook, a Palatka High School student.

According to the sheriff’s office, Holbrook and her father were hunting Tuesday afternoon when lightning struck a nearby tree and hit them.

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Deputies say the father lost consciousness and awoke to find his daughter wasn’t breathing. He called 911 and began performing CPR on Holbrook 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.

Holbrook was taken to HCA Florida Putnam Hospital in critical condition. According to the sheriff’s office, she passed away peacefully Thursday morning, surrounded by her family.

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“Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers as they navigate a difficult road ahead of them and respect their privacy,” a statement from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said.

Thursday’s scheduled junior varsity volleyball match between Palatka Jr.-Sr. High School and Penial Baptist Academy was canceled because of the tragedy.

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

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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.

According to data from the National Weather Service, Holbrook was the fourth person killed by lightning in Florida this year and the twelfth nationally.

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