2 children struck by lightning in Merritt Island, rescue crews say

A GoFundMe page for one victim raises over $5,000

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Two girls in Merritt Island were struck by lightning Friday afternoon, according to Brevard County Fire Rescue.

The department said rescue crews arrived at the 400 block of Via Salerno Court in Merritt Island around 3 p.m. after reports came in about two girls who had been struck by lightning.

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Crews said the girls — a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old — were taken to Cape Canaveral Hospital and Arnold Palmer Hospital, respectively. Authorities initially identified one of the girls struck by lightning as being 15 years old before later clarifying she is 14 years old.

“It sounded like a bomb went off, it was so loud, and then — when I come outside — they were laying on the ground,” said neighbor Terry Peterman. “It was horrifying, and I pray for the family that they’re alright.”

Dwight Bryan, another neighbor, said he was the first to help the girls.

“I was in my room right there, that room, and I hear a big lightning lick and the whole room light up,” Bryan said. “And I saw my two neighbor’s kids on the ground right there.”

Bryan told News 6 he turned the girls on their side because they were face-down in the dirt.

“When I turn over my neighbor’s daughter, she was like, ‘Can you help me?’” he said. “I feel so bad for her — trust me — ‘cause I know the light lick them real bad.”

A family member of one of the girls said the 12-year-old is going to be OK, though the girl will be staying overnight to make sure her condition remains stable.

The condition of the 14-year-old girl has yet to be released.

A GoFundMe page for one of the victims has so far raised over $5,000. According to the post, three girls were struck by the lightning bolt leaving the child unresponsive.


Authorities initially identified one of the girls struck by lightning as being 15 years old. They later clarified she is 14 years old.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.