Lightning Strike Kills Daughter While Hunting With Her Father

(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A lightning strike killed a teenager Tuesday when she was hunting with her father in a Florida forest.

While hunting in a blind in the woods near Millican Road, lightning reportedly struck a tree and hit Matthew Holbrook and his daughter Baylee Holbrook, causing both of them to lose consciousness, First Coast News reported. Matthew eventually regained consciousness but found Baylee unresponsive, prompting him to attempt CPR, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

First responders transported the 16-year-old victim, who was in critical condition, to UF Shands in Gainesville where she died Thursday at 9:32 a.m., according to a spokesperson for the family. Doctors performed several tests on Baylee before she succumbed to the trauma, the outlet reported.

Hundreds of mourners gathered Wednesday to pray for Baylee in the gymnasium at Palatka Jr-Sr High School, where the victim was enrolled, according to First Coast News.

“She was the one on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings that was texting her peers at the school, her peers, her loved ones: ‘Hey, hope to see you at church,’” Willie McKinnon, a pastor and family friend, told the outlet. “She always wanted to see people be better than who they were … And her main goal was to make sure they had every opportunity to accept Jesus Christ into their heart.” (RELATED: Lightning Strike Near White House Kills 3)

McKinnon called the Putnam community “the greatest there is,” saying he appreciated those who showed up to pray for the cheerleader and photography lover, the outlet reported.

“When one of our own is hurting, when one of our own is in need, this community, this county, this town rallies around people like I’ve never seen before,” McKinnon said.