National News

Man killed by lightning strike while mowing yard

Posted July 16, 2018 7:25 p.m. EDT

— A father of two was struck by lightning and killed Saturday as he mowed the lawn at his mother's house.

Barbara Steward says her nephew Darrell Hoskins was mowing his mother's backyard off Feathers Chapel Road around 3:30 when the small storm popped up. He was finishing up the last patch of grass under the tree.

"It's just a freak accident. one of those things you read about," Steward said. "They said it was a small cloud that just popped up overhead. Just a couple pops of lightning and that was it."

They think the lightning hit the tree and it arced onto his cell phone, which was in his shirt pocket

Not long after, his daughter found him dead.

"It was unreal. I know you use that word all the time, but it was like it wasn't real," Steward said. "Still isn't."

His family showed us the tree as they told us about their loved one and his compassion.

"Darrell had the sweetest, gentlest spirit. Everyone loved him and he loved everybody," she said.

Steward hopes others hear this story and remember how powerful and dangerous Mother Nature can be.

"I keep preaching and pounding into people: Don't take the chance," she said. "He was out here finishing up a little patch of grass. A little patch of grass left un-mowed is not worth risking your life."

The family is raising money with a GoFundMe account for the two children he left behind.