GULF SHORES, Alabama (WKRG) — A man was fatally struck by lightning on West Beach in Gulf Shores on Saturday.
News 5 is told 24-year-old Taylor Harsh of Mountain Brook was killed after being struck directly by the lightning bolt.
Saturday’s radar shows the storm as it formed north of the Gulf and began moving south. “A lightning bolt struck and struck all 6 of them,” says Gulf Shores Fire Chief Hartley Brokenshaw.
Carol Cordon witnessed the aftermath, “So sad, young boys hands on their heads, they were all on their cell phones they were distraught. It was a really sad situation.”
Beaches can be deadly during a storm filled with lightning. “A lot of times you see lightning in the distance but there’s sunshine over you so, you think, oh well maybe it’s moving that way or maybe it’s moving that way so you kind of take your chance but it’s not worth it.”
Some witnesses dispute whether the group in town for a bachelor party did what they should as the storm approached. Regardless, Chief Brokenshaw says the results are devastating and plans to put more emphasis on lightning safety. “They were down here to have a good time. They weren’t doing anything wrong. Everything was going good and this happens and it hurts me.”
Five others were affected and one remains in serious condition. They are all from the Birmingham area.