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Lightning kills 1, injures 2 on Fort Myers Beach

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Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Lightning kills 1, injures 2 on Fort Myers Beach

By FOX 4 Staff. CREATED Jul 22, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 22, 2014

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- One man is dead and two others injured after being struck by lightning just after two Tuesday afternoon. It happened on the beach behind the Hooters restaurant on Estero Boulevard.

Witnesses working near the scene said they saw a big flash, heard a big crack, then everyone fled the area.

Romell Gutierrez was cooking at the Wicked Wings Beach Grill when the big bolt flashed right before his eyes.

"I saw a big strike and then heard everyone scream and start coming in running," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said beach visitors ran for cover, the beach emptied in an instant. He said except for the three victims.

Matthew Rector saw the lightning strike and immediately ran over to help.

"I saw the flash and I ran down there when I approached he was clearly deceased and the other guy had no pulse. I started giving him CPR, he wasn't really responding then EMT's came and took him," Rector said.

Lightning killed one man in an instant, the other two rushed to the hospital.

Law enforcement officials said this awful tragedy serves as a strong reminder that when it comes to severe weather, no risk is worth taking.

"It was terrible. Makes me think. I live here right on the beach and I take chances out here walking around in the rain and lightning now I realize I can't take those chances," Robert Gustafson said.

Lee County Sheriff's officials said the one young man who was taken to the hospital appeared to be in serious condition, the young woman was conscious and breathing. The identities of the victims have not been released.