‘Fighter’ 16-year-old dies after lightning strike on hunting trip with dad in Florida

UPDATE: Baylee Holbrook, 16, died from injuries caused by a lightning strike Sept. 28, her church confirmed.

Baylee was on a hunting trip with her dad when they were both struck by lightning, deputies said.

The original story continues below.

A 16-year-old girl is in critical condition after she and her father were struck by lightning while hunting in Florida, deputies said.

The teen and her father were hunting in the woods in Putnam County late in the afternoon Sept. 26 when lightning struck a tree, according to a Sept. 27 news release from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

The lightning hit both the teen and her father next to the tree, deputies said, causing them to lose consciousness.

When the father woke up, his daughter was still unconscious and wasn’t breathing, deputies said.

The father called 911 and started CPR until paramedics arrived, according to the release.

The teen was taken to a trauma center and was in critical condition as of Sept. 27.

“We stand with our community as we rally for this teen,” the sheriff’s office said in the release. “She has proven a fighter and our prayers extend to her, her family and friends.”

Deputies did not release the identity of the teen but shared she is a student at Palatka Junior-Senior High School.

The school held a prayer around their flag pole Sept. 27, the sheriff’s office said.

In Facebook posts, friends and loved ones identified the 16-year-old as Baylee Holbrook.

Baylee Holbrook is an avid hunter, golfer and photographer, according to her Facebook.
Baylee Holbrook is an avid hunter, golfer and photographer, according to her Facebook.

“Baylee Holbrook you have touched many lives and you still have many to touch,” Bryanna Hall wrote in a Facebook post. “Everyone please continue to pray for her, family, and friends.”

According to her Facebook page, Baylee is an avid hunter, golfer and photographer.

Baylee’s father, Matthew Holbrook, asked the community in a Facebook post for prayers for her recovery.

“You and your family have been on my heart continuously,” Paige Pacetti Watts wrote in the comments. “The amount of outpouring you have from our community shows what a(n) amazing and beautiful daughter you have raised.”

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said there has been an increase in lightning strikes as storms move through north Florida this week.

The sheriff’s office wants “to remind our community that the forecast is predicted several more days of increased rain, thunder and lightning. Storms can come quickly and lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from any rainfall.”

Palatka is about 55 miles south of Jacksonville.

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