The five-year-old-boy who was killed by a lightning strike on a North Carolina beach has been identified. Stephen Little, from Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, was vacationing with his family in Carova Beach this past Saturday when he was hit around 4 p.m., according to a WITN report.
Currituck Fire and EMS Chief Ralph Melton told local news outlets that the family was attempting to pack up their SUV to avoid the oncoming storm when the boy was struck. An ambulance was en route, but weather conditions were too severe for a medical helicopter.
Little was driven to a hospital, Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, where he was pronounced dead at 6 p.m.
The Associated Press also reported a lightning strike that killed a teenage girl, aged 14, as she was riding a jet ski in the Flaming Gorge Reservoir along the Utah-Wyoming border July 22.
Reynolds was riding the Jet Ski with her stepmother who was critically injured and airlifted to a hospital in Salt Lake City. 49-year-old Jayleen Reynolds, Brooke’s stepmother, was reported to be in fair condition the following Saturday.
AccuWeather reported that an average 49 people are killed in the U.S. by a lightning strike annually, not counting hundreds more who are severely injured.
“While only a small number of thunderstorms become strong enough to produce damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, every thunderstorm produces lightning," Brian Lada, an AccuWeather meteorologist, stated.
According to an AccuWeather statistics chart (2006-2015), the month of July is the deadliest month for lightning deaths, averaging 10 fatalities, followed by seven deaths for June and five for August.
Currently, the US death toll for fatal lightning strikes are up to 21 for 2016, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report from the National Weather Service.