6 injured by lightning strike at Las Cruces school football practice, 1 critically

Posted at: 08/19/2014 5:51 PM
Updated at: 08/20/2014 6:16 AM
By: Blair Miller, KOB.com

A boy waits in an ambulance at Picacho Middle School after a lightning strike at a football field near the school on Tuesday afternoon. A young boy (not pictured) was rushed to Memorial Medical Center Tuesday afternoon after being struck by lightning.
A boy waits in an ambulance at Picacho Middle School after a lightning strike at a football field near the school on Tuesday afternoon. A young boy (not pictured) was rushed to Memorial Medical Center Tuesday afternoon after being struck by lightning.
Photo: Carlos Javier Sanchez - Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES - A 13-year-old boy was critically injured, along with five others, after a lightning strike during football practice at Picacho Middle School around 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to Las Cruces police spokesperson Dan Trujillo.

Four other boys and a coach were also injured during the strike, which witnesses said occurred "suddenly and without warning", according to police.

Las Cruces Public Schools spokeswoman Jo Galvan told KOB the boy in critical condition was transported to the El Paso Hospital Trauma Center, and he has since been stabilized.

Galvan said the incident occurred as players and coaches headed indoors after calling practice off when it started to drizzle. She said the day had been overcast, and that coaches did not see any lightning or rain as they started practice.

As the team was headed inside, lightning struck a nearby tree and spread to some of the players and a coach.

Two of the other boys, also 13, and the coach were also transported by ambulance to a local hospital, but their injuries are not believed to be critical.

Another boy was said to be taken to a hospital by private vehicle, and one refused medical attention, according to police.