As the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas prepared to go head-to-head this weekend, a storm was brewing. The skies were threatening with heavy rain and lightning fifteen minutes before the game was scheduled to start at 8:00 PM.
At 7:54 PM, even before the teams kicked off, disaster struck. First responders fought to save Lieutenant Stu Tudor’s life – he sustained a direct lightning hit in the parking lot that evening. One spectator described the lightning that sent 54-year-old Tudor into cardiac arrest as “like a bomb going off,” with a loud noise and bright flash where it touched down. The blast hit fire Lt. Tudor in the shoulder, tearing open his shirt and knocking him to the ground. As of mid-morning Sunday, Tudor was still in critical condition.
Though the storm’s heavy rainfall and bursts of lightning rolled through roughly 15 minutes before the scheduled 8 pm kickoff — prompting officials to evacuate fans from stands to the concourses of the double-decked stadium — it was already too late for Lt. Tudor.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Tudor and his family.
We looked into our network to trace the progression of the storm. We detected lightning 88 minutes before the fan was struck. Whenever severe weather strikes, advance warning is key.
See the strikes our networks detected:
When dangerous weather is afoot, nobody wins.
We urge customers to use the Spark functionality of the WeatherBug app to see if lightning is near them, so they and their loved ones can stay safer.
Stay Safe. Know Before™.
-The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team