Man struck, killed by lightning on Florida beach

9:27 AM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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PANAMA CITY BEACH (AP) - Authorities say an Alabama man was fatally struck by lightning while carrying his stepson on a Florida Panhandle beach.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office says James Keith Brown of Chelsea, Ala., and his family had been staying in a boat anchored off Shell Island. They were walking on the beach Monday when the weather deteriorated.

The sheriff's office tells The News Herald that Brown began carrying 14-year-old Tristan Berger on his back because the teen had a cast on a broken ankle.

Brown's wife told deputies that she heard a loud crack and turned around to see her son and husband lying in the sand. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene. Berger was hospitalized in Pensacola.

The National Weather Service says it's Florida's second lightning-related fatality this year.

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