Youth Fatally Struck By Lightning In Bath County

A 12-year-old boy passed away this weekend after being struck by lightning in Hot Springs in Bath County. The boy was visiting family in the area.

The Bath County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 4:55 p.m. on Saturday, September 14th reporting that a child was struck by lightning. A Hot Springs Volunteer Rescue Squad member, who arrived to the scene before to the ambulance, notified the dispatcher there was a 12-year-old victim who had no pulse and was not breathing.

Due to weather conditions at the time, no air medical transportation was available and the child was transported to Bath Community Hospital.
According to Bath County authorities, the child was revived by emergency room staff and transported to Roanoke Carilion Hospital by a specialty ambulance, but he passed away about 11:30 Sunday, September 15th.

The name of the victim has not been released to ensure the family’s privacy.

From 1959-2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that 67 people were killed by lightning in Virginia. Over the last 10 years, an average of 27 people were fatally struck by lightning annually in the United States.

An analysis of lightning deaths in the United States found that 70% of these fatalities occur during June, July and August, likely because these are peak months for both lightning activity and outdoor summer activities.

We thank the Highland-Bath Recorder and the Staunton News Leader for information in this story.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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