Teen dies after lightning strike at Orchard Beach

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Friday, August 13, 2021
Teenager dies after lightning strike at Orchard Beach
A teenage boy has died after being struck by lightning during a fast-moving, pop-up thunderstorm that rolled over Orchard Beach late Thursday afternoon.

ORCHARD BEACH, Bronx (WABC) -- A teenage boy has died after being struck by lightning during a fast-moving, pop-up thunderstorm that rolled over Orchard Beach late Thursday afternoon.

Carlos Ramos, 13, of the Bronx died at Jacobi Medical Center.

His friends of his family are devastated.

"If lightning struck one of my children, I don't know what I'll be doing. The thing is, he was a kid, he was a good kid. Really, really good one," family friend Jamila Banks said.

Six other people were hospitalized after the incident including 13-year-old, Stacy Saldivar.

Outside the hospital Friday, Saldivar, who was at the beach with her parents and two siblings, said she and her family saw the storm clouds, left the water and gathered their things and were running to escape a downpour of rain when lightning struck just in front of her.

"I passed out and then I was shaking and blood started coming out of my mouth," Saldivar said. "There was this man that was giving me compressions."

Watch Stacy Saldivar describe the frightening ordeal:

A 13-year-old who survived being struck by lightning in the Bronx speaks out.

Saldivar said her dad screamed for help.

She said she was told the lightning struck the ground in front of her, but miraculously didn't leave a mark on her body.

"Like a little tingle that really hurt a lot," Saldivar said. "I feel lucky to be alive still."

Saldivar said she and her family were not at the beach with Ramos and that they don't know each other.

Lightning strikes are very rare, but what happened Thursday in the Bronx is a reminder they can happen.

The storm dumped heavy rain and brought thunder and lightning, forcing lifeguards to clear the beach.

But several people got caught in that storm.

In addition to Ramos and Saldivar, those struck were a 41-year-old man; a 33-year-old woman; a 14-year-old boy; a 12-year-old girl; and a 5-year-old boy.

All were taken to the hospital. All are expected to survive.

Video from the scene shows the aftermath after several people were injured during a lightning strike.

Beach goers described the scary scene.

"One lightning came down, and next thing you know the cloud came above us and lightning just started falling everywhere all around us," said Ralph Gonzalez.

"You can't there's no rationalizing it. It's just Mother Nature, if you want to call it that."

The thunderstorms came with the intense heat that gripped at the Tri-State area on Thursday, heat which is expected to continue Friday.

Lightning has injured 17 people in New York City since 2001, not including Thursday's incident.

In Aug 2018, two men were struck while playing soccer in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, we covered that. During the same storm, a man was struck while standing next to a car in Jamaica, Queens.

Three people were struck by lightning, also at Orchard Beach, back in August 2014.

In August 2002, a 25-year-old man was struck and killed by lightning on the roof of a building on Broome Street in Chinatown, likely the last known lightning death in the city.

Nationwide, lightning has killed six other people this year, including a 70-year-old man on a golf course in Westhampton, New Jersey.

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