Neighbors react to 1st Avenue lightning strike - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors react to 1st Avenue lightning strike

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - “I heard it go boom and it lit up the whole block,” said 1st Avenue resident Roy Fletcher.

He and other neighbors are talking about a lightning strike that injured two Albany men, one critically

21-year old John Clyde Jr. remains in critical condition at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Zaki Davis is the other man struck Tuesday night, but he is okay. Neighbors say they heard the strike as Clyde and Davis were working on a car.

"I was watching TV and then I heard a big boom," said Brittany Nicole Morris.

Brittany Morris lives across the street from where John Clyde Jr was struck by a bolt of lightning.

She remembers hearing thunder and then hearing her brother.

"My brother, he was on the porch and and he was screaming, yelling, are y'all alright; are y'all alright. And they said no and then he ran back in the house and said oh my god, they just got struck by lightning," said Morris.

Neighbors say Clyde was under this tree working on a car, and it's possible the bolt hit the tree and then Clyde. Roy Fletcher found him first.

"He wasn't breathing or nothing. He was just laying there up under the tree," said neighbor Roy Fletcher.

It is still unclear where the bolt actually hit on 1st Avenue, but Clyde immediately went into cardiac arrest.

"I had took my shirt off to put it up under his head to make sure he was elevated right and then that's when me and Brandon just started doing CPR. He was doing the compressions while I was doing the breathing," said Fletcher.

EMS arrived shortly after and took Clyde to the hospital. Fletcher says their attention then turned to the other man hit.

"We went back and started looking out for Zaki then to try and make sure he was alright and then he was responding but then he would like really shaken up too," said Fletcher.

Davis wasn't home today, but he did not go to the hospital Tuesday night. Fletcher says he feels blessed to have helped and is hoping for the best. Stay with WALB.com for updates on Clyde's condition.

First responders encourage you to take shelter any time a thunderstorm is nearby. Once you're inside, you should avoid running water and stay away from doors and windows.

Anytime you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.

“The rule of thumb is when it's safe to go outside is 30 minutes after the last clap or thunder. But anytime you suspect weather that's getting bad, go ahead and seek shelter,” said Lee County EMS Director Bobby Watkins.

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