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Evans teen struck by lightning during storm
Harsh weather slams area; teen remains critical
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A large oak tree behind AgSouth on South Main Street split and fell on several vehicles during Wednesday’s storm. Despite the fact that the pictured vehicle was occupied, no one was injured. - photo by EDDIE LEDBETTER/staff
    An Evans County teen is in critical condition after being struck by lightning Wednesday afternoon. The bolt also knocked eight other Pinewood Christian Academy students off their feet, said Evans County EMS Director Mark Bird.
    The students were on the school's track, practicing, around 4 p.m., when a severe electrical storm blew through the area, knocking out power lines, uprooting  trees and causing several automobile accidents in Evans, Candler, Bulloch and surrounding counties, he said.
    Pinewood Christian Academy staff performed CPR on the teen, and an Evans County First Responder, Robbie Jernigan, was on the scene to administer further aid, he said.
    The quick reaction by school staff and Jernigan saved the boy's life, Bird said.
    The teen, whose identity is not released due to his juvenile status, was rushed to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Bird said.
    The storm that raged through Bulloch and surrounding counties around 4 p.m. Wednesday was alive with lighting and wind. Bulloch County 911 Director Kelly Barnard said there were numerous reports of trees down, including several in Candler County; on W. C. Hodges and Elmer Phillips roads in Bulloch County, and behind Ag South in the center of Statesboro, where a tree fell on three vehicles. One vehicle was occupied, but no injuries were reported.
    Barnard said several accidents were the result of intense rainfall, coming down in sheets, blown sideways by the strong winds. Several cars hydroplaned on Interstate 16, and accidents were reported at U.S. 80 near Ivanhoe; at the Emanuel/Candler county line where a car hit a tree; and on U.S. 301 at Veteran's Memorial Parkway.
    Lightning blew a transformer at Westside Road near Veteran's Memorial Parkway as well, she said.
    Additional storms were expected later Wednesday evening, according to the National Weather Service Web site.

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