lightning strikes

GROSSMONT HIGH FOOTBALL PLAYER HURT BY LIGHTNING: WHY WASN’T PRACTICE CANCELLED DURING THUNDERSTORM?

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

October 25, 2016 (El Cajon)—A 14-year-old football player at Grossmont High School was injured  by lightning that struck nearby while walking toward the locker room after football practice yesterday around 6:15 p.m. 

In 2010,  we reported on a coach at El Capitan High School who kept players on a field during a lightning storm in violation of district policy. “The policy of the GUHSD in thunder/lightning storm conditions would be to immediately seek safe shelter at the first sound of thunder and to remain in said shelter until at least ½ hour after the last sound of thunder,” Larry Pear, director of extended and co-curricular activities at the Grossmont Union High School District,  told us at the time.

Numerous witnesses report seeing lighting strikes throughout the afternoon in the community, right up until the time the student was struck. So why wasn’t yesterday’s football practice at Grossmont High, in the same school district, cancelled?

THUNDER, LIGHTNING, HIGH WINDS FORECAST: HIGH FIRE DANGER

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Thunderstorms capable of heavy downpours, gusty winds and lightning strikes may hit our mountain and desert regions starting this weekend. The storms are forecast from Saturday through Tuesday, mainly in the afternoons and evenings.

SHOCKER: HIGH SCHOOL COACH ENDANGERS TEAM WITH PRACTICE DURING THUNDERSTORM

 

"The policy of the GUHSD in thunder/lightning storm conditions would be to immediately seek safe shelter at the first sound of thunder." -- Larry Pear, Grossmont Union High School District

 

ECM Special Report

Story by Miriam Raftery, photos by Dennis Richardson

July 16, 2010 (Lakeside)—While lightning strikes caused multiple fires in East County including Lakeside, El Capitan’s football team continued practicing on an open field during a thunderstorm in direct violation of district rules.

 

“There was thunder and lightning in the immediate area striking the ground...during the time the kids were practicing,” ECM photographer Dennis Richardson reports. “As I was shooting pictures of the players [from a hill nearby], a man who was watching the lightning storm from the safety of his home near me told me he had just seen a bolt of lightning hit a power pole near Wildcat Canyon and Willow Road.” That’s about half a mile from the football practice, he estimated.

 

Playing sports during a thunderstorm can be deadly. In 2008, all eleven players on a football team in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed when lightning struck the field