1 Dead, 4 Others Injured After Lightning Strike in NY Park

A man died and four others were injured after a powerful thunderstorm hit a park in the Hudson Valley. 

Tim Massie, a senior vice president at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, told NBC 4 New York a 50-year-old man died around 1 a.m. Saturday.

At about 4 p.m. Friday, Poughkeepsie first responders received a 911 call for a lightning strike in Mansion Square Park, Mayor Rob Rolison told NBC 4 New York.

"The first arriving officers, who were on the scene literally in about two minutes, had five victims in distress," Rolison told NBC 4 New York. He said at the time three of the people had life-threatening injuries.

Rolison said the victims appeared to be near a bench under a large tree in the center of the park. 

"In the event that a storm is moving in, these are places that you just can't be," Rolison said. 

Patty White said her brother Franklyn Mekeel, 46, was one of the victims sitting on the benches. He was rendered unconscious by the lightning strike. 

"I saw the police tape and I got worried because I know he comes here once in awhile," she told NBC4 New York at the park. 

"Supposedly his heart stopped for 30 seconds. They did CPR and they got him back, he's stable, but now they have to do some kind of procedure to get him better," she said. 

The incident happened two days after a man and woman were found dead in a western New York cemetery where they were struck by lightning.

A series of strong storms are moving through the Hudson Valley and eastern New York to New England.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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