Cricket Player Clings to Life After Lightning Strike

41-year-old man in critical condition after park nightmare

A cricket player is fighting for his life after a bolt of lightning struck him – tossing him into the air and destroying the clothes on his body – as he tried to run off the field during a sudden thunderstorm in Brooklyn yesterday.

Teammates say they were racing for cover when Patrick Gibson was struck Sunday afternoon at Marine Park. They rushed to help Gibson, whom they described as motionless, barely breathing and badly burned. His clothing was left in tatters.

"His pants were burned. His tongue was out of his mouth and his eyes were rolled back in his head," teammate Kenneth Charles told the Daily News.

Gibson was playing in his first game for the Stars United team when the thunderstorm forced players off the field at about 4 p.m. Friends said the 41-year-old construction worker stayed behind to gather his gear. He was headed for the parking lot as the rain came down in torrents. Thunder cracked and Gibson fell to the ground.

"I thought he was stunned or shocked," Dominic Audain, a cricket player on the opposing team, told the News. "Ten seconds passed and he wasn't moving. That's when we ran over."

Joseph Shortte, 48, threw down his bags and tried to perform CPR on his longtime friend as the players waited for help to arrive.

"I thought he left me," Shortte told The New York Post. "I saw foam in his mouth. His tongue was white. His eyes shot up." 

Finally, help came. Friends and teammates prayed as paramedics placed Gibson in the ambulance. He went into cardiac arrest as he was being hurried to the hospital. Paramedics were able to revive a pulse and get him to Beth Israel Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition last night.

In Newark, lightning struck four men who huddled under a tree to get out of the storm. Isaac Coello-Pineda, 22, was killed by the strike. Hermon Delgado, 28, Elmer Delgado, 20, and Naun Delgado, whose age was unknown, were listed in stable condition at UMDNJ. The victims were all cousins.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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