HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Thursday’s lightning strike in Westmoreland County that killed two people happened on the same date – June 13 – of another fatal lightning incident exactly 35 years ago.
Harold Miller of Hempfield said his teenage son lost his life in the 1984 incident. Miller told KDKA News, “I was amazed; it was just something that struck me because it happened on the same day my Gary lost his life.”
15-year-old Gary Miller was fishing with a friend near his home on the evening of June 13th, 1984.
He was struck by lightning and died three days later at UPMC Children’s Hospital.
His 84-year-old father said he was stunned by the most recent lightning tragedy and he remembers what happened to his son like it was yesterday.
“When Gary got hit, I was working in the kitchen putting a light in, I didn’t know it hit my son,” he said.
He added that his son’s fishing friend ran to the house and said Gary couldn’t get up.
Miller and his friend were fishing in a creek on a golf course nearby.
Miller said to this day, he’s nervous and apprehensive when there’s a thunderstorm nearby. He said he stays in the house now when he hears thunder.