CLEARWATER — A man struck by lightning over the weekend on Clearwater Beach died Wednesday.
According to Clearwater police, 32-year-old Garry L. Perks went into cardiac arrest and died. Perks, of New Port Richey, had been in critical condition at Morton Plant Hospital since the strike hit him directly shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday. Authorities initially reported that he was in his 40s.
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Seven other people were also hurt in the lightning strike, according to Clearwater Fire and Rescue officials. Three were taken to Morton Plant. Another person was taken to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of burns. The remaining three opted not to go to the hospital.
Authorities have not identified anyone other than Perks, citing the confidentiality of medical information.
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The group was at the beach when the storm started to roll in about 12:30 p.m. Lifeguards whistled for everyone to get out of the water and hoisted two red flags, signaling dangerous weather.
The group was packing up to leave when lightning struck the group at 12:42 p.m., authorities said.
Contact Kathryn Varn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8913. Follow @kathrynvarn.