By Laura Austin
News Review Staff Writer
At approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday morning June 22 Ridgecrest Police Officers, Kern County Fire Department Engine 77, Ridgecrest Hospital Liberty Ambulance, and Mercy Air helicopter were dispatched to the area of W. Bowman Rd. and S. Norma for medical aid. Witnesses on scene stated a male wearing a black ball cap, was hit by a bolt of lightning.
The male, in his 30s, was walking his dog with his young child in a stroller during a lightning and thunderstorm system. The bolt hit the man in the top of the head traveled through his body and appeared to exit through his foot.
He suffered burns and injuries consistent with a lightning strike and was transported to Antelope Valley Medical Center via Mercy Air helicopter.
The child and dog allegedly sustained no injuries.
No information was available at press time. The incident is still under investigation.
The US National Weather Service Hanford, California alerted of a severe weather outlook for Wednesday, June 22. They stated that isolated, severe thunderstorms were possible in Eastern Kern County and Southeastern Tulare County.
They warned that a primary thunderstorm hazard would be damaging with wind gusts of 58 mph or higher and a few strong thunderstorms are possible. The primary thunderstorm hazard would be wind gusts near 45 mph.
Any thunderstorm can produce dangerous cloud to ground lightning strikes.
According to California Highway Patrol (CHP), Garlock Road was not listed as being closed, but urged that if you were planning on traveling through there you might want to choose an alternate route.