College student struck by lightning on OBX dies

KITTY HAWK, N.C. (WITN) - A college student has died at Vidant Medical Center, weeks after being struck by lightning on the Outer Banks.

The Pitt County Medical Examiner's Office says Matt Summerill died from complications of drowning due to him collapsing face down in the ocean because of a lightning strike.

The 23-year-old man was with friends in the 2300 block of North Virginia Dare Trail in Kitty Hawk on August 23rd. Police say he was in the water when the lightning hit.

A GoFundMe page says Summerill was from Northern Virginia and was a student at Columbia University. It says he was in the water throwing a frisbee with two friends when the lightning bolt "came out of the clear blue sky and struck him in the lower back."


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A man was struck by lightning while in the water on the Outer Banks this afternoon.

Kitty Hawk police say it happened in the 3800 block of North Virginia Dare Trail around 2:50 p.m. as an active thunderstorm moved through the area. There were no storm warnings at the time.

The 23-year-old was at the beach with friends and was taken to the Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head. His condition is unknown.