Child Killed By Lightning Strike

Two boys struck on baseball field; one dies

Tragedy hit a local baseball field Wednesday night when two boys were struck by lightning as they tried to get in a game of catch before thunderstorms rolled in. One was killed. The other is in grave condition.

The call to 911 came in at 6:25 p.m. Wednesday from the baseball field behind Lee Hill Elementary School in Spotsylvania County, Va.

According to investigators, a Little League game had been called off early because of the approaching storms, but the 11- and 12-year-old boys had gone back onto the field to play catch while their parents looked on. Shortly thereafter, witnesses said, lightning struck 12-year-old Chelal Matos, a sixth grader at Chancellor Middle School, and transferred to the other boy.

As horrified spectators and teammates looked on, both boys fell to the ground and went into cardiac arrest. Two nurses who were at the field performed CPR until rescue workers arrived.

Chelal died on the field. The other boy was taken to Mary Washington Hospital and then flown to VCU Medical Center in Richmond. He was last listed in critical condition.

Like most baseball diamonds, the field behind Lee Hill Elementary has a metal backstop, metal benches and metal bleachers that could easily conduct electricity.

Four grief counselors were standing by at Chancellor Thursday.

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