Oklahoman Killed by Lightning on Florida Beach

Thursday, July 9th 2009, 8:25 am
By: News 9


MELBOURNE BEACH, Florida -- A Oklahoma man was killed after being struck by lightning Wednesday afternoon on a central Florida beach.

The incident happened on a beach in Melbourne, Florida. Eyewitnesses said they felt the current from the lightning strike during the storm.

"The back of my hat has a metal thing and this is where I felt it. It felt like I got hit with a rock in the back of the head," said eyewitness Juan Carlos Gran.

Gran saw the lightning hit 54-year-old Frank Paxton. He was reportedly on the beach, gathering his belongings, along with his wife and 19-year-old son, when he was struck.

"We had just gotten on the beach when it started pouring and it just cracked on the guy and it was pretty scary," said Gran.

Eyewitnesses said Paxton's family was yelling out for help. Emergency crews worked on Paxton but could not get a pulse. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Paxton's wife and son were treated for minor burn injuries.

Paxton lived in Ripley, Oklahoma and worked for almost three decades at Oklahoma State University, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.

OSU's online directory lists Paxton as an electrician at the Stillwater campus.

CBS Affiliate WKMG contributed to this story.