3 struck by lightning in Daytona Beach Shores, 1 dies, officials say

Cops: Witnesses from Hyatt hotel saw lightning strike, called 911

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Three people were struck by lightning in Daytona Beach Shores on Friday afternoon, according to Volusia County authorities.

Officials said Russell Scott, 41, and Janika Gardner, 31, both from Georgia, were in ankle-deep water in the 3100 block of South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores near the Hyatt Place Oceanfront Hotel when they were struck by lightning Friday.

Witnesses from the hotel saw the lightning strike and called 911 for help. Officials said Scott and Gardner were staying at the hotel.

They were treated and taken to a local hospital, according to officials, who added that Scott had been conscious but Gardner had died from her injuries shortly before midnight Friday.

A third person, Anna Nikorak, 55,  of Daytona Beach, was also struck by the lightning bolt and was taken to the hospital. Nikorak was able to walk away and seek medical attention elsewhere.

The beach was closed to swimmers and vehicles as authorities investigated.

News 6 chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells said a picture on StormPins showed a shelf cloud rolling over Daytona Beach Shores moments before the lightning strike.

Photos from the scene also showed the emergency response to the lightning strike report on the beach.