FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — It’s a record that one wishes to keep yearly.
No deaths caused by lightning.
The United States made it to a record 159 days without a single lightning fatality in 2021.
That statistic came to a screeching halt on Wednesday, day 160.
A man died after he was struck by lightning on a New Jersey course.
It happened at the Burlington Country Club Wednesday afternoon, according to the Associated Press.
BREAKING: A man golfing is struck & killed by lightning. It happened at Burlington Country Club. Witnesses say lightning struck a tree near the man.
— Jessica Kartalija (@JessKartalija) June 9, 2021
The man was rushing to seek shelter from a pop-up thunderstorm.
He was fatally injured when lightning struck a tree close by, according to Westampton police.
He was pronounced dead at the scene near the seventh hole which is just about 500 yards away from the course’s clubhouse.
Westampton Police have identified yesterday's victim of the fatal lightning strike as 70 year old Michael Florence. The golfer was found dead between the 6th and 7th hole at Burlington C.C.. He appears to be first person in the U.S. this year to die from a #lightning strike. pic.twitter.com/oXNijZaTHh
— Dan Patrick (@6abcDan) June 10, 2021
It is unclear how he was injured but the wet ground from rainfall could make it easy for the current to travel.
This is a solemn reminder that lightning is dangerous.
According to the National Weather Service, lightning kills an average of 49 people each year in the United States and hundreds more are injured.
Lightning strikes the U.S. 25 million times a year, which sometimes results in death or permanent injury. You are safest indoors, or inside a hard-topped enclosed vehicle. Stay #WeatherReady and learn more about lightning safety: https://t.co/84aG4gI9zX pic.twitter.com/K7bL8W6rKs
— NWS Riverton (@NWSRiverton) June 9, 2021
In 2020, there were 17 lightning fatalities and 20 occurred in 2019.
According to a February 2020 report by the National Lightning Safety Council, between 2006 and 2019, 418 people were struck and killed by lightning in the U.S.
Of the 418 lightning deaths, leisure activities were responsible for 257 or nearly two-thirds of the deaths.
As you make your outdoor summertime plans, check the forecast before you start your day.
Also, have a way to check the weather when you are enjoying time outside.
You can do that by downloading the FOX55 Severe Weather App.