DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Kayla Houlsey and her friend Bailey saw the lightning strike from their hotel balcony on Daytona Beach Shores and what they saw next, they’ll never forget.
“I saw the lightning and it scared me , like that scared me by itself, and then I see the people on the ground and I was freaking out,” Houlsey said.
Volusia County Beach Patrol says three people were struck by lightning as they stood in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday afternoon. On Saturday authorities confirmed 33-year-old Janika Gardner, from Georgia, was struck by a bolt of lightning while standing in shallow waters at the beach in Daytona Beach Shores, along with 41-year-old Russell Scott of Georgia and 55-year-old Anna Nikorak of Daytona Beach.
“Three people were on the beach in about ankle deep water when they were struck by a lightning bolt, that just came down, we did have storms kind of in the area we were on red light conditions,” said Capt. Tammy Marris with Volusia County Beach Patrol.
“The people who were running with their hands up were screaming and yelling for help and then they started to perform CPR and drag the other person out of the water and then all of the ambulance and everyone else started coming,” said Bailey Burkitt.
Beach-goers say the lightning bolt was so strong you could feel the vibration everywhere.
“It was extremely loud, you can’t describe it because you could feel it all over your body,” said Tim Heaton.