Two Men Hospitalized Following Possible Lightning Strike

By Chris Gordon
|  Thursday, Jul 11, 2013  |  Updated 8:24 PM EDT
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News4's Chris Gordon talked to eyewitnesses about a lightning strike along the Severn River in Annapolis that sent two men to the hospital.

Chris Gordon

News4's Chris Gordon talked to eyewitnesses about a lightning strike along the Severn River in Annapolis that sent two men to the hospital.

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A lightning strike may have been the cause of two men's life-threatening injuries Wednesday evening in Annapolis, Md.

It had started out as a day of fun on the Severn River within sight of the Bay Bridge. John Martin was hosing a summer crab feast at his home in the 100 block of River Drive. Throughout the afternoon, children who attended this picnic went paddle-boarding and tubing.

As a storm closed in around 8:45 p.m., Connor Benson, 19, and Alex Steele, 24, had gone down to the beach to secure the equipment when lightning struck.

"A storm was coming up, it looked like it was going to pass south of us and it came up on us really fast," Martin said. "Two of the boys were concerned about the boats on the beach. They ran down to try to secure them and a lightning strike hit right by them and knocked them both unconscious."

Bystanders administered CPR after the men were found to be unresponsive and not breathing. The Anne Arundel County Fire Department responded to the scene and transported the victims to Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Jaimie Martin, Benson's girlfriend, was there when the lightning struck, and is by his side in the hospital. Benson is in a medically induced coma.

Anne Arundel County Fire officials said they can't confirm the source of their injuries at this time because the men had no outward physical injuries, such as burns, to link to a lightning strike.

Both men are listed in serious condition.

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