Lightning strike puts 3 children in the hospital

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KVUE)-- Three children are in the hospital after they were injured in a lightning strike at the Lake Travis Youth Association Field of Dreams in Bee Cave on Highway 71 near Hamilton Pool Road Tuesday.

The children, 10 years old and younger, were at the field for their first soccer practice of the season.

The accident happened just before 4:45 pm.

"We found a pediatric patient, male who had been struck by lightning and was in cardiac arrest with bystander CPR in progress," said Austin-Travis County EMS Captain Darren Noak.

EMS took over administering CPR, and the 10-year-old had some returned pulses. STAR Flight transported him to Dell Children's Medical Center with life threatening injuries.

He wasn't the only one injured.

"We were informed of a second [child] first, and then slowly a third [child] trickled in as well. And so we did evaluate and subsequently transport two additional patients," Noak said.

Those patients, a boy and a girl, were also taken to Dell Children's Medical Center with potentially serious injuries. They were practicing in the same area.

"You don't have to be directly struck by the lightning. If it is in very close proximity you can still get the effects...with disruption of your heart rate," said Noak.

Investigators are working to find out if the first victim was directly hit by the strike.

Witnesses say it wasn't raining, the sky was fairly clear and there was no indication lightning was in the area. Still Captain Noak said he conditions were right for lightning.

"Summertime heating, of course lends to a potentially cropping up of the afternoon thunderstorms, obviously even in a condition like this with no rain, but the clouds in the area we do have a cool front coming through, those areas clash we have the potential for lightning," said Noak.

Lake Travis Youth Association Board Members Peter Maddox and Scott Cronk released this statement Tuesday night:

"Just before 5:00 p.m. today, Tues. Aug. 26, a Lake Travis Youth Association soccer team was practicing at the LTYA fields and was suddenly struck by lightning. EMS responded to the scene, and two players [ATCEMS reported 3 children] were taken to a local hospital for treatment. We are unaware of their current condition. Upon notification of the incident, all LTYA outdoor activities were cancelled for the evening. Additionally, all LTYA indoor and outdoor sports activities have been cancelled until further notice. LTISD will have school counselors available at each of their campuses tomorrow should students need to speak with an adult regarding tonight's incident. As our coaches know, player safety is our utmost priority. This incident appears to have happened suddenly and without warning. Our thoughts and prayers-along with that of the LTYA board-are with these children and their families. We ask that you too keep these children and their families in your thoughts and prayers.We will provide you with updates as new information becomes available."


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