Lightning strike kills 2, injures 1

Officials: Strike stripped bark off tree

HOUSTON - Two people were killed and another was injured when lightning struck during a soccer game in north Harris County.

Officials said a group from a men's soccer club was playing on the field in the 1100 block of Hill Road near the Hardy Toll Road when it began to rain about noon Sunday.

The group took shelter under some nearby trees. Moments later, lightning struck one of the trees, ripping huge chunks of bark off.

Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Shriver has worked security in the area for 17 years as a second job. He was at the field when the lightning struck and ran to help.

"All of a sudden, the storm popped up. People were starting to get off of the field. It was lightning and thundering. It sounded like a bomb went off," said Shriver.

Shriver said he'd never seen anything like this in all his years of law enforcement.

"It hit the top of the tree and just like sparks and fire going all the way down the tree and when it hit the ground, it just dispersed out," Shriver said.

One person was killed instantly. Two others were rushed to the hospital, where one of those victims was pronounced dead.

"They just had burns to their body. The one who was deceased at the scene after the ME's office got here, took his shoe off and could see a large hole and a burn mark where the electricity went through his foot," Shriver said.

Shriver said there were many more soccer players sitting under the trees when lightning struck, but they ran to safety. Shriver said in all, about 200 athletes were at the field.

The third victim was listed stable condition.

So far, no names have been released.

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