William Walker Bethune, Georgia teen struck by lighting while on Florida vacation fatally succumbs to brain swelling injuries.
William ‘Walker’ Bethune, 17, of Macon, Ga., died on Wednesday from his injuries after he was struck by lightning bolt earlier this month on Tigertail Beach in Marco Island, the Naples Daily News reported.
‘He passed away peacefully this afternoon, listening to one of his favorite Allman Brothers songs, appropriately named, ‘Soulshine,” his family posted Wednesday on a fundraising page for his medical costs.
The teen was walking on the beach with his parents and brother on July 17 when he asked his father for a baseball cap and was struck by lightning as he put it on, police said.
The teen’s father, David Bethune administered CPR when first responders arrived at the beach, according to a police report.
Odds of dying from lightning strike in the US is 1 in 138,849
William Bethune was rushed to a local hospital and later airlifted to a hospital in Miami, where he succumbed to his injuries.
On Monday, a family friend had said Bethune was suffering from brain swelling.
Bethune’s high school, Stratford Academy, also confirmed his death on Wednesday.
‘Tonight, we received the heartbreaking news that Walker Bethune passed away from his injuries sustained during his tragic accident,’ the school wrote on Facebook.
‘You have fervently prayed for Walker and his family over the last 11 days, and we ask that you do not stop. Walker was loved by all within our school family, and we lift up his family and friends during this unbearably difficult time.’
The teen was among at least four other people struck on Southwest Florida beaches within a 10-day span during the height of the state’s rainy season.
Last year, 17 Americans were fatally struck by lightning according to data from the National Weather Service.
According to the National Safety Council, the chance of dying from lightning strike in the US is 1 in 138,849. Similarly the chance from a dog attack is 1 in 86,781, while the chance of dying from hot surfaces and substances is 1 in 63,113.