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Lightning strikes injure one in Duluth, two in Cherry

A 12-year-old boy was struck by lightning at Enger Park Golf Course in Duluth on Sunday afternoon, less than two hours after two people were injured by a lightning strike at an Iron Range baseball field.

Emergency workers and others gather around a 12-year-old boy who was struck by lightning at Enger Golf Course on Sunday afternoon. The boy was brought to a local hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Earlier in the day two other people where reportedly hit by lightning near Cherry. Steve Kuchera /

A 12-year-old boy was struck by lightning at Enger Park Golf Course in Duluth on Sunday afternoon, less than two hours after two people were injured by a lightning strike at an Iron Range baseball field.

In Duluth, the lightning strike was reported just before 4 p.m. as a thunderstorm swept over the city. The Duluth Fire Department, Duluth police and a Minnesota State Patrol trooper responded to the scene.

The golf course was busy for the Reidar Lund Skyline Memorial Tournament. The tournament had continued despite some thunder in the area, and course officials had just blown a warning horn to pull players off the course when the bolt struck. The boy was not playing in the tournament; he was in the area of the driving range. He was taken by Gold Cross Ambulance to a local hospital, where he was listed in critical condition Sunday night, according to Duluth police spokesman Ron Tinsley.

Meanwhile, at about 2 p.m. Sunday, Jay Mott, 51, of Virginia, and his daughter Ava, 4, were struck by lightning while attending a baseball game at the Cherry Town Hall recreational facility, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, witnesses said Jay Mott was carrying his daughter when they were struck, and bystanders revived Mott on the scene by administering CPR.


Authorities said Mott, in cardiac arrest, was transported by a Hibbing ambulance to Fairview Range Medical Center in Hibbing and later transferred by ambulance to Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, where he was listed in critical condition Sunday night.

His daughter was taken by Virginia ambulance directly from the field to Essentia Health in Duluth and was believed to have suffered much less serious injuries, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Cherry is about 10 miles east of Hibbing along Minnesota Highway 37.

A forecaster at the Duluth office of the National Weather Service said multiple small thunderstorms popped up across Northeastern Minnesota throughout the day Sunday, often offering little warning.

The Weather Service reports that lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year and kills an average of 49 people annually, with hundreds more severely injured.

The Weather Service notes that - even if you don’t see lightning flashes - if you can hear any thunder, lightning could be close enough to strike you. The Weather Service says anyone outdoors who hears thunder should seek shelter immediately, either in a building with plumbing or a metal-topped vehicle.

In August 2012, a 9-year-old boy was killed when lightning struck a nearby sailboat as he was in shallow water off Minnesota Point in Duluth.

In October 2001, a 13-year old Wrenshall boy was struck by lightning during a soccer game at the Arlington Soccer Complex in Duluth. The accident sent him to two Duluth hospitals for 16 days to treat burns that covered his back, legs and feet.


News Tribune reporter Matt Wellens contributed to this report.

Minnesota State Patrol Trooper J.D. Carlson (center) talks with two Duluth police officers at Enger Golf Course after the victim of Sunday's lightning strike was transported to a local hospital by ambulance. Carlson was one of the first responders on the scene. Steve Kuchera /

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