Lightning Strikes Groundsman on School Football Pitch

A lightning bolt struck a groundsman while he was painting lines on a school football pitch.

Eric Baumgartner was in the final stages of his work when he experienced an electric shock.

Incredibly, he survived thanks to the swift actions of a resourceful police officer who performed CPR.

A dramatic footage from a doorbell camera captured the moment the lightning struck the 39-year-old from a distance.

The incident occurred at Iselin Middle School in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, US, around 12:15 PM on 14 June.

Eyewitness Hay Heday shared, “I was in my living room when I first spotted the lightning. It felt like an explosion.”

Hay continued, “Then I glanced out the window and saw the man right in the middle. He collapsed.”

Eric’s close friend, Ray Deliman, explained, “He was struck in the foot. As far as I know, the lightning entered through one foot and exited through the other.”

Police swiftly arrived at the scene, and Officer Robert McPartland found Eric without a pulse.

Performing CPR, Officer McPartland successfully saved Eric’s life.

Woodbridge Mayor John McCormick commended the officer, stating, “As of now, I have full confidence that RJ McPartland saved Eric Baumgartner’s life. I couldn’t be prouder of the work our police officers do.”

Emergency services rushed the victim to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where he remained conscious and responsive to medical personnel.

Officer McPartland, a former firefighter, explained, “We noticed burn marks on his hands, which helped us determine what had happened. We knew we had to start compressions to revive his heart.”

“Once we were in the ambulance, and he regained a pulse, he slowly began regaining consciousness while still at the scene. He wasn’t speaking yet, but he was starting to move his limbs and show signs of awakening.”

“Fortunately, we are trained for situations like this and were able to provide the necessary assistance.”

According to colleagues, Eric is a married father of two sons and a veteran of the Coast Guard. He has worked for the Woodbridge Public Works Department for 18 years. He is currently in stable condition at the hospital.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are 1 in 1 million. Moreover, nearly 90% of lightning strike victims survive.

The agency also states that New Jersey is among the states in the US with the highest number of lightning-related injuries and fatalities.

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