Authorities identify 70-year-old man killed by lightning on Burlington County golf course

Authorities say that a 70-year-old man was struck and killed by a bolt of lightning while on a Burlington County golf course Wednesday afternoon.

News 12 Staff

Jun 10, 2021, 9:04 PM

Updated 1,047 days ago

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Authorities say that a 70-year-old man was struck and killed by a bolt of lightning while on a Burlington County golf course Wednesday afternoon.
The man was identified as Michael Ward. His body was found near the seventh hole of the Burlington Country Club in Westampton.
Golfer Gary Ventura was at the nearby Indian Springs Golf Course’s driving range when Wednesday’s storm rolled through.
"It came up suddenly, a quick pop-up-like storm. You could hear some of the rumbling and some lightning flash,” he says.
Authorities say that Ward was heading to the clubhouse when he was killed.
“It’s really the last thing you expect to happen so suddenly,” Ventura says.
So how do golf courses warn golfers when these quick storms pass through? At Indian Spring, they use a lightning detection system. It is a sensor on top of the maintenance building.
“There’s an antenna on the building that will register a lightning strike within 10 miles and then from there it sounds a radio signal to this alarm,” says Indian Springs golf course superintendent Jeremy Hreben.
The alarm warns golfers to clear the course, and it lets them know when it is safe to go back out.
“We know that once you hear that, immediately you’ve got to get off the course,” Ventura says.
Indian Spring has had their lightning detection system in place for years, but they say Wednesday’s tragic accident is just another reason to remind their golfers of the dangers that the storms can bring.
“When something like that happens, everybody has knowledge of it, whether we tell them or not. But now we’re definitely going to pay more attention to that,” says Hreben.
The sensor at Indian Spring also transmits to other sirens in Evesham Township properties including parks, playgrounds and athletic fields.


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