3 hospitalized in New Smyrna Beach after lightning strike

No word on severity of injuries

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Three people were taken to a hospital in connection with a lightning strike that took place near the jetty, the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department said Thursday evening.

The lightning strike happened on the edge of a boardwalk that sits right near the beach and the inlet, fire officials said.

A bystander performed CPR on one of the victims and saved that person, investigators said.


All the victims are alert and conscious, and at last check were en route to Florida Hospital New Smyrna, according to the Fire Department.

The victims included 51-year-old Francis Gilday, 25-year-old Connor Curtis and 22-year-old Kaylyn Peeples, all of New Smyrna Beach.

Kaylyn Peeples' brother said the three victims were surfing Thursday night during the severe weather when they were struck.

"They went to hide underneath the boardwalk at the inlet and then it just got worse and they had pretty much, nowhere to go because it's like a mile back to their car," Mason Peeples said.

Peeples said he was at home when he got the news his sister had been struck by lightning.

"My other sister came in and she was like, 'Your sister was just struck by lightning,'" Peeples said. "And I was like, 'Oh, my God.' So I got out of bed and got in the car and took off."

California tourist Alica Hendricks could not believe she was seeing people on the beach and in the ocean during the storm.

"I went into a restaurant, watched it and went, 'Oh, wow. This is amazing.' There were actually people out on the beach when it was coming in and I'm like, 'I don't think they should be out there,'" she said.

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