LEHIGHTON, Pa. (AP/KDKA) – A New Jersey man died and at least two other people were treated for injuries after an apparent lightning strike at an eastern Pennsylvania lake.
Officials said the man was swimming at Beltzville State Park in Carbon County shortly after 7 p.m. when the strike occurred. Terry Brady, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said a preliminary investigation indicates that he managed to get out of the water but became unresponsive in the beach area.
The Lehigh County coroner’s office said 38-year-old Jose Lopez-Hernandez of Camden, New Jersey, died just after 3 a.m. Sunday at Lehigh Valley-Cedar Crest. An autopsy is scheduled Monday to determine the exact cause of death.
Park manager Devin Buzard said two or three other people were treated after the lightning strike. He also said park staff began warning visitors to seek shelter and leave the water ahead of the storm.
“You can’t predict the path of the storm or how fast it’s traveling. As soon as you hear that first crack of thunder, you are in danger at that point,” Buzard said, according to the Allentown Morning Call. “We do our best to inform people, but each individual needs to maintain responsibility for their own safety.”
The 3,000-acre park is a popular swimming destination, though its had periods of temporary closures when high levels of bacteria have been detected in the water.
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