Man struck by lightning at Jonathan Dickinson

Posted at 3:53 PM, Mar 25, 2016


43-year-old Farooq Muhammad remains in critical condition, officials said Saturday morning. 


MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- A man is in critical condition at St. Mary's Medical Center after he was struck by lightning at Jonathan Dickinson State Park Friday afternoon.

Martin County investigators say Farooq Muhammad, 43, was at the park with his wife, mother-in-law and two sons, kicking a soccer ball around with his 7-year-old when he was struck.

Investigators say Muhammad was struck on the head.

His wife was setting up a picnic table when she told investigators she saw the lightning hit her husband and she heard a loud boom.

“It just came so hard and so fast, the lightning it was just so bad,” said park guest, Ifi McCormack.

McCormack, her husband John, and their two kids recently moved to Florida. They quickly learned how quickly the weather can change. "We know now!" John said.

Witnesses say it was only lightly raining, and lightning was far in the distance when Muhammad was hit.

John says the storm appeared to be moving away from the park at first. "It was probably another 5 minutes before it was on top of us," John said.

“The first deputy on scene said there was lightning all over the place and it was pouring down rain,” said Sgt. Richard Parks, with the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

The park was crowded at the time of the storm, and an unknown number of people had already launched to kayak on the river.

Park officials tried to warn people to take cover and welcome them into area buildings for safety.

"People just need to take caution when a thunderstorm rolls in. If you have lightning in the area, seek cover," Parks said.

The McCormacks are taking note.

“Yea, we’re going to study the weather better before we come out.”