Lighting Strikes Soccer Team

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 9:33am

Michigan soccer practice turns tragic when storm hits.

At least 12 people were injured when lightning struck a Michigan park as the group was practicing soccer Tuesday.

Patients range in age from preteen to middle age, and one was in critical condition, Portage police said in a news release.

Eight people were taken to Bronson Hospital and four to Borgess Hospital.

Those eight have since been treated and released.

Officials said more people may have sought treatment on their own.

The group was at Westfield Park when storm hit around 7 p.m. Tuesday and lightning struck.

"We heard a big crack and said, 'that hit a couple of blocks from here!' " said Debbie Dumas, a neighbor.

An engine from the Portage Fire Department was nearby and responded to the call quickly.

"When we arrived, we asked for two more ambulances," said Battalion Chief Charles Wellman, of the Portage Fire Department. "We had one person that was seriously injured."

People from the neighborhood surveyed the aftermath, still disturbed by what they saw and heard.

"After the crash, we could hear them from our house," Dumas said. "We could hear screaming."

The storm rolled through quickly, leaving little time to take cover.

"Lightning can strike quickly," Wellman said. "Even on a sunshiny day."

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