HOUSTON—Two people are dead and one is injured after lightning struck at a soccer complex in north Houston Sunday afternoon.
The lightning bolt hit a tree at the Escondida Soccer Club on Hill Road near W. Hardy just after noon.
The fields were cleared and hundreds ran for cover when the bad weather rolled through.
Instead of going under the pavilion for protection from the storm, the three men decided to sit under a tree.
Harris County Deputy Joe Shriver had just arrived at the complex for his security job and saw the whole thing.
He said it sounded like a bomb went off.
"Nothing I’ve ever seen before in my almost 22 years of law enforcement," said Deputy Shriver. "It hit the top of the tree and it’s just like sparks and fire going all the way down the tree and when it hit the ground, it just dispersed out."
Shriver said he watched pieces of bark blow off the tree and one of the victims had burn marks on his feet.
One was confirmed dead on the scene and the other two were transported to Ben Taub, where another victim later died.
According to the National Weather Service, there have been 11 lightning fatalities so far this year. Sunday’s accident brings the Harris County total to three.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences urges people to go indoors or get inside of a metal-topped vehicle when weather becomes stormy or thunder is audible.