Lightning strike at 4th of July celebration leaves 1 dead, 11 hurt

A lightning strike killed one person and left several injured during a Fourth of July celebration in South Carolina.

A tree was struck by lightning Thursday afternoon near Lawshe Plantation in Georgetown County, injuring people standing under it, county Fire/EMS Assistant Chief Tony Hucks said.

One man went into cardiac arrest and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died in the emergency room, Hucks said. He was identified as Ryan Gamble, 44, of Andrews, a town in Georgetown County.

Eleven others were injured, said Amy Stevens, vice president of marketing for Tidelands Health. Three have been treated and released, and eight were admitted to the hospital.

Andrews Mayor Frank McClary was celebrating the holiday with his family when the lightning struck.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this,” the mayor said. “We did lose a young man, and that is a horrible thing.

“We are going to have to be aware of what goes on with these pop-up thunderstorms.”

McClary said the county has an emergency operations center that sends out early warnings, but workers there did not anticipate the storm to be as violent as it was.