High school grads die after being struck by lightning in park

Two high school graduates are dead after reportedly being struck by lightning Thursday in a Pennsylvania park.

Brendan McGwon, 18, and Kaitlyn Rosensteel, 18, were fishing at Mammoth Park Lake in Mount Pleasant Township at around 4 p.m when witnesses say they heard a loud crackling noise followed by a large flash of light.

Witnesses said the next thing they noticed was a large splintered tree and Brendan and Kaitlyn beneath it, the Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office said in a press release.

They were both pronounced dead at the scene and officials said the injuries were “consistent with being struck by lightning.”

An autopsy report confirming the official cause of death will take several weeks, the coroner’s office said.

Brendan recently graduated from Greensburg Central Catholic High School and Kaitlyn from Ringgold High School, WPXI reported.

Thursday’s deaths mark the third and fourth lightning strike-related deaths this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The first death was an adult male who was camping in Texas on May 3 and the second was an adult male who was struck while riding his motorcycle in Florida.

On average, lightning strikes kill about 50 people in the U.S. each year. The odds of being struck in your lifetime are 1 in 13,000, according to the NOAA.

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