Local News

Man killed after lightning strike in Cary; several displaced by fires

Posted April 9, 2015 9:10 p.m. EDT
Updated April 10, 2015 12:24 p.m. EDT

— A 28-year-old man from Harnett County died Thursday evening after being struck by lightning while walking in a Cary parking lot, authorities said.

According to investigators, Steven G Bryan Jr., of Angier, was struck while walking near Michaels in the Cary Crossroads Plaza at about 8:50 p.m.

Bryan was taken to WakeMed, where he later died. No one else was injured, authorities said. Family members said Bryan was an employee of East Coast Towing. He had gotten off work shortly before being struck and was at the shopping center to meet his girlfriend.

The lightning strike happened as numerous storms made their way slowly through Wake County and other parts of the Triangle.

Several severe thunderstorm warnings were issued across central North Carolina Thursday evening. Heavy downpours and lightning strikes were also reported across the area.

Lightning was to blame for numerous home and apartment fires across Wake County. Two people were injured when lightning sparked a blaze in the 4100 block of Cross Creek Court, off Lake Boone Trail at about 8:30 p.m.

Authorities also believe lightning was the cause for an apartment fire that happened early Friday morning in the 4700 block of Courtney Lane in north Raleigh. One woman was taken to a local hospital with minor burns, and five people total were displaced.

About 70 firefighters responded to the apartment complex after the initial call, which came in shortly after midnight.

"(The fire) appears to be from a lightning strike," Raleigh Assistant Fire Chief Kendall HoCutt said. "When the first units arrived on scene most of the roof structure was already involved."

Earlier Thursday, a Harnett County woman was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center after being struck by lightning while walking her dogs near Ray Road in the Spring Lake community. Emergency crews revived the woman on scene before taking her to the hospital, officials said. Her name and condition have not been released.

Two dogs died as a result of the lightning strike.

Storms moved out of the area late Thursday, but another round of severe weather could bring damaging winds and large hail to the area Friday night.