Father and 16-Year-Old Daughter Struck by Lightning During Hunting Expedition; Tragically, She Passed Away Days Later

Authorities say a 16-year-old girl died after being hit by lightning while on a hunting expedition with her father in Florida on Tuesday.

According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Baylee Holbrook died on Thursday morning, two days after a lightning bolt damaged a tree and killed her and her father.

Her father, Matthew Holbrook, is alleged to have “lost consciousness” and woken to discover Baylee “not breathing.”

As rescue personnel rushed to the scene, the father dialed 911 and started CPR, officials stated. Deputies arrived first and took over life saving measures until rescue arrived and could transport the teen.

The 16-year-old was brought to HCA Florida Putnam Hospital and stabilized before being transferred to a trauma hospital.

According to the sheriff’s office, Baylee was in serious condition on Wednesday.

Prior to Baylee’s death, the Putnam County School District announced on Facebook on Wednesday that students came together to pray for her on “See You at the Pole” day, an annual nationwide event regarded as a time for student-led prayer.

They stand in solidarity with their community in support of Baylee, the school district wrote.

Today, September 27th, is "See You at the Pole" day. This annual national event is recognized as a time for student-led…

Posted by Putnam County School District on Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Palatka Jr-Sr High School students were requested to wear green on Thursday to show their continued support for her and her family, according to a school Facebook post.

Hundreds gathered in the high school gymnasium on Wednesday night to pray for Baylee.

It’s a very rare happening, it really is, and it’s not something one see or hear a lot about, family friend Willie McKinnon told the publication. One see car wrecks, one see all these other things, but this is a rare one.

Trinity Baptist Church reported that all sporting activities for Thursday night had been canceled, adding, they are in prayer for the Holbrook family and reflecting as well as sharing.

The lightning strike occurred after days of an upsurge in lightning strikes in the region, according to the sheriff’s office on Wednesday.

They wish to remind their community that the forecast is predicted several more days of increased rain, thunder and lightning, according to the department. Storms can come quickly and lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from any rainfall.

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