Lightning Strikes Fire Lieutenant in Columbus, Ohio

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:

  • T-88 minutes until strike (6:32 PM EDT) – The first strike was an in-cloud (magenta) lightning strike less than 7 miles from the stadium. This system did not produce a lot of lightning. Credit: WeatherBug Total Lightning Networks
  • T-50 minutes until strike (7:04 PM EDT) – The next strike was a cloud-to-ground (yellow) strike southeast of the stadium. Credit: WeatherBug Total Lightning Networks
  • T-24 minutes until strike (7:30 PM EDT) – More in-cloud lightning is detected west and east of the stadium. Credit: WeatherBug Total Lightning Networks
  • T-10 minutes until strike (7:44 PM EDT) – More in-cloud lightning is detected west and east of the stadium. Credit: WeatherBug Total Lightning Networks
  • T-4 minutes until strike (7:50 PM EDT) – In-cloud lightning is detected fewer than two miles from the stadium. Credit: WeatherBug Total Lightning Networks
  • T-2 minutes until strike (7:52 PM EDT) – In-cloud lightning is detected less than ½ mile from the stadium. Credit: WeatherBug Total Lightning Networks
  • T-0 minutes until strike (7:54 PM EDT) – A cloud-to-ground lightning strike injures a fan in the parking lot. Credit: WeatherBug Total Lightning Networks
  • T-0 minutes until strike (7:54 PM EDT) – Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes (yellow) fewer than 150 yards from the parking lot and injures a fan. Credit: WeatherBug Total Lightning Networks
  • Total Lightning detected during the event between 4:10 PM and 8:27 PM within a 10-mile radius. Credit: WeatherBug Total Lightning Networks

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

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This entry was posted in General, Lightning, Safety, Weather Stats, WeatherBug Photos, WeatherBug Product, When Weather Attacks.
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