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Lightning injures woman in Myakka area

MANATEE — A Manatee County woman was injured by lightning Monday afternoon at Falkner Farms in the Myakka City area.

She was the fourth Manatee resident to be injured by lightning in two days.

On Sunday, three persons were injured by lightning in the Oneco area.

Sunday’s victim is a young woman in her mid-20s who lives at Falkner Farms, said Myakka City Fire Chief Danny Cacchiotti.

When emergency crews arrived on the scene, she was still conscious, but suffering from burns and trauma, Cacchiotti said.

The woman was flown by Bayflite helicopter to Tampa General Hospital, the burn center for the Tampa Bay area.

Captain Mary Jane Rust of the Manatee Emergency Communications Center said Monday’s lightning strike was reported at 1:50 p.m.

Responding to the scene were Medic 5, based at Dam Road, and the Myakka City Fire Department, based on State Road 70 and Verna Road.

The strike hit the woman on the back while she was in a rainy farm field, said Kelly O’Keefe, program director of emergency residency at the University of South Florida.

The woman was admitted to the trauma center and will likely go home in a day, O’Keefe said.

“She should be fine,” he said.

None of the victims injured by lightning have been identified because of a federal law protecting patient confidentiality.

A man struck by lightning Sunday in Oneco remained hospitalized Monday at Manatee Memorial Hospital. He was breathing on his own, according to a family friend.

He was one of three hit by a bolt Sunday evening outside a home in the 5600 block of Fifth Street Court East in Oneco.

The woman injured in Oneco was resting at home Monday. She had previously been in stable condition at Manatee Memorial Hospital.

The other man hit sustained only minor injuries, Manatee County Emergency Services Lt. Mark Laraway said.

Florida is often called the lightning capital of the world, but Cacchiotti said he couldn’t remember the last time a Myakka resident was injured by lightning, much less four Manatee County residents in two days.

James A. Jones Jr., editor, can be contacted at 708-7916. Natalie Neysa Alund and the St. Petersburg Times contributed to this report.

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