(CNN) — A Florida teenager is dead after lightning struck her and her father while they were hunting, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook update Thursday.
Baylee Holbrook, 16, and her father, Matthew Holbrook, had been hunting late Tuesday afternoon in a wooded area just north of Palatka, 45 miles outside of Gainesville, when a tree they were sitting by was struck by lightning. That lightning strike rendered both Holbrook and her father unconscious, according to an incident report.
Holbrook’s father awoke to find his daughter wasn’t breathing. He put her in his pickup truck and drove to a main road before attempting CPR until emergency services arrived, the report said.
The teenager was taken to HCA Florida Putnam Hospital until she was “stabilized enough” to be transported to the pediatric trauma center at UF Health Shands Hospital, where she died Thursday morning surrounded by her family, the sheriff’s office said.
An average of 28 people die in the US from lightning strikes every year, with most deaths occurring in Florida, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina and Alabama, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The varsity cheerleader’s middle name — Faith — is also what is inspiring her community during the devastating time, Putnam County School District superintendent and family friend Rick Surrency said in a statement.
“She had the unique gift of bringing a smile to everyone in her presence,” Surrency said. “She was and will continue to be a shining light to us all.”
More than 100 people attended a vigil Thursday night to honor Holbrook and pray for her family, according to CNN affiliate WJXT.
That same day, the community wore green in memory of the 16-year-old. “The color was seen from businesses and restaurants to schools,” the sheriff’s office said.
“This is a small community and we mourn together,” the department added.
CNN reached out to a spokesperson for the family.
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