A 16-year-old girl has died after being struck by lightning in Florida while hunting with her father, officials said Thursday.
Baylee Holbrook and her father were hunting Tuesday in Putnam County, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Gainesville, when a bolt of lightning struck a tree and struck them, local police said.
Trinity Baptist Church shared the heartbreaking update of her passing two days later, writing, “This morning at 9:32 am Baylee Holbrook entered the arms of Jesus. Matt, Casey and Kylee are grateful for the outpouring of love and support. We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy at this time.”
Holbrook was surrounded by family when he died at the hospital, the church added.
All Hombrook High School athletics events were canceled Thursday due to the community’s grief.
Baylee Holbrook, 16, has died after being struck by lightning while hunting with her father
Holbrook and her father were hunting Tuesday in Putnam County, about 30 miles east of Gainesville, when a bolt of lightning struck a tree and struck them.
‘Everyone is invited all day today for a time of fellowship and prayer in the CL Overturf auditorium. We are in prayer for the Holbrook family, reflecting and sharing,” the church said on Facebook.
Holbrook’s father lost consciousness after the bolt hit, and when he woke up, the teen found she wasn’t breathing. The father quickly called 911 and performed CPR on his daughter until emergency services and first responders arrived.
Holbrook was transported to HCA Florida Putnam Hospital and taken to a trauma center, where she was listed in critical condition.
“She has proven to be a fighter and our prayers go out to her, her family and friends,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
The teen’s loved ones took to social media after learning of her death to honor her.
“As I sit here with eyes filled with tears, I keep asking God why, why Baylee? Why are they always the good ones? Why do bad things happen to such good people? So young..I’m angry and sad at the same time,” Ryan Eubanks wrote.
“God, please put your hands around this family. Hold them tight and don’t let them go!!’
Holbrook’s classmates gathered Wednesday morning to pray for the Palatka Junior-Senior High School student’s recovery.
The community gathered again later that evening for a vigil in her honor in the school gymnasium.
Holbrook was taken to the hospital where she died Thursday
All Hombrook High School athletics events on Thursday have been canceled
“She cares so much about everyone. She has a heart for her friends, the people she loves, the people she comes into contact with. She has a heart for people in general,” said family spokesman Willie McKinnon. WOKV.
Holbrook was a varsity cheerleader and the team will honor her by wearing her favorite color, green, ribbons and bows, during their game on Friday.
Her friends describe her as a pillar of the community with a smile that brightens any room.
“She’s hilarious, she always comes with a smile on her face, she could get through the worst day, but she comes with a smile on her face,” Kaitlyn Sanders said.
“It’s like a brother-sister relationship, we hunt all kinds of fish,” her cousin said. “She’s a fighter and I know she’ll stay in this and I love you, Baylee.”
McKinnon shared a message from her parents: “Please ask God to do what he alone can do and that is perform a miracle.”
Holbrook’s classmates gathered around Palatka Junior-Senior High School on Wednesday to pray for her recovery
On Wednesday evening, the community held a vigil for the 16-year-old. A family spokesperson had asked people to pray for her recovery
The sheriff’s office said there had been an increase in lightning strikes in the area over the past two days and warned the community about the upcoming forecast.
Fox again Severe weather was said to have been reported in the sunny state due to a stalled front to the north, allowing numerous showers and storms to develop up and down the Florida peninsula.
They predicted thunderstorms will hit the state over the weekend, with most parts of the state receiving at least 2 inches of rain through Saturday.
About 40 million lightning strikes occur in the United States each year, yet the odds of actually striking them in any given 12 months are less than one in a million, according to the CDC.
Survivors described being left with tinnitus, PTSD, severe burns, mental health issues, visual disturbances, heart palpitations and more.