Rockville Activist Dies After Lightning Strike

By Kathy Banks
|  Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010  |  Updated 7:46 PM EDT
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Rockville Activist Killed By Lightning

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LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 27: Lightning strikes early August 27, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A series of strong thunderstorms swept through the area overnight. Fire department personnel responded to numerous vehicles stuck in flooded roadways and reported 10 building fire calls and more than 50 tree fires as a result of lightning. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Rockville Activist Killed By Lightning

Friends are remembering Carl Henn, a community activist from Rockville, Md., who died two days after being hit by lightning in a park.
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When folks picked produce at the Watkins Pond Community Garden today, they were thinking about Carl Henn, who helped start that garden and many others throughout Rockville, Md.

The gardeners were so grateful for his work and dedication, they invited him to their picnic last Sunday at King Farm Park to celebrate their harvest.

Then the unthinkable happened.

The big thunderstorm moved through and Carl Henn was struck by lightning. He died Tuesday at the hospital.

Dennis McCarthy was there. He assumed Henn had made it to a car, like the others. When the storm was over, they went back and found Henn, 48, lying on the ground next to a tree. He was not breathing.

"We moved him away from the tree in case there was another strike. We took him up here to the grass and just kept working on him, thinking that the others would be able to get an ambulance up here," McCarthy said.

The friends took turns doing CPR. When no one was able to reach a 911 operator to report the emergency, a man who lived nearby drove Henn to the hospital in his SUV.

Doctors restored his heartbeat and for a while it looked like he would make it. Unfortunately, he did not.

Henn is being remembered as an environmentalist, an activist and an avid cyclist. He recently ran for the Rockville City Council, posting his campaign video on YouTube.

Friends and supporters plan to dedicate a garden in his memory.

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