Adventure Island employee dies after being struck by lightning

12:41 PM, Sep 11, 2011   |    comments
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UPDATE: 10 News has learned the man killed, Justin Inversso, was the son of Pasco County Baliff Frank Inversso. 

The sheriff's office released a statement saying in part," Justin showed great promise as a young man and he cared a great deal about the safety of others. His actions not only to save the lives of the people in the park but his entire life demonstrated that he is and will always be a hero. His strong faith led him to live a courageous life of service. There is no question he is in the comfort of our Lord looking down on us."

Did you know Justin Inversso? 10 News would like to speak with you. You can contact us at

TAMPA, Florida -- An Adventure Island employee has died after being struck by lightning on Saturday.

Tampa Fire Rescue says the 21-year-old male lifeguard supervisor went into cardiac arrest after being struck while standing in about 2-3 feet of water while working on the Key West Rapids Ride. Park employees removed the man from the water and began CPR before Fire Rescue arrived.

The employee was taken to University Community Hospital, where he later died. His name has not yet been released.

Busch Gardens and Adventure Island Park President Jim Dean says that this is the first incident on its kind at the park. He adds that the park has a system that monitors wind, lightning and other conditions that may affect guest and employee safety, and that all of Adventure Island's rides are closed if lightning is detected in the area.

Dean said today in a statement, "We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of our employee and will do everything possible to assist them in this difficult time."

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