Those frequent afternoon storms that attack North Carolina on summer evenings turned deadly for a man in Sanford this week.
David Charles Everette, 39, was struck by lightning when he took cover under a tree during a strong storm Tuesday evening, multiple media outlets report. Everette was making a quick run to the store when he was caught in the storm.
Everette was the father of two teenagers and had a baby on the way, WFMY reported.
Terill Jackson, told ABC11 that he found Everette’s body unresponsive under a tree around 7:30 pm. Another neighbor, Harmon Cochrane, told WRAL that he never thought a “freak accident” such as this would happen so close to home.
“Every now and then you would hear a little lightning but for one instance you heard two big booms and I just took for granted that the lightning hit something. I never thought it was going to be the individual, never did,” he said. “That was a serious freak accident there, oh my God,” Cochrane told WRAL.
Community members have posted their grief for Everette on social media.
A close friend of his, Condairy Windham said in his Facebook post Tuesday night “If you had the privilege to have met David, you knew right away he was a man that had a huge heart and as humble as they come. Best believe the man upstairs knows he has received someone worthy.”
Sanford is about two and a half hours east of Charlotte.
According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, North Carolina has the third most lightning fatalities, injuries and damage, behind Texas and Florida. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says lightning kills about 30 people each year in the United States, and hundreds more are injured. The odds of being struck are 1 in 1,083, 000.
Everette is the seventh person in the nation this year to die by lightning in the U.S., according to NOAA.