19-year-old struck by lightning during storm in New Jersey

CHATHAM, New Jersey (WABC) -- A 19-year-old in New Jersey survived a harrowing ordeal Thursday night when he was struck by lightning.

It happened on the field behind Chatham Middle School.

"My wife actually said, hey we need to get a hold of him there's this thunderstorm coming through, don't want him to get hit by lightning," said the victim's father, Jack Darby.

As that line of storms raced across Morris County and right over Chatham, Jack never got a chance to warn his son Brendan. The lightning found him first.

"He woke up, he was on the ground," Jack Darby said. "He had been unconscious not that long maybe less than a minute or so, and just numbness generally across his body."

Beth and John Tunny live right next to the field and were worrying too, and with good reason, as Brendan staggered out of the gloom.

"He was just coming down the street saying, Oh I was struck, I was like oh my God, let's get him in the house!" said Beth.

They called 911 and medics rushed the teen to the hospital. Authorities say he was lucky. This was an 'indirect' hit, but still serious.

"The police officer said that area is kind of a magnet for lightning with all the stands and the fence and there's an underground sprinkler system but who would have known," said John Tunny. "Thank God he's okay. Scary. We felt so bad for him."

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