A 15-year-old Lowndes County boy has died after being struck by lightning Sunday evening.

Jonathan Frances Murphy died of cardiac failure at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, according to a family member.

The Lowndes High 10th-grader was struck by lightning while outside his home at 3887 Spain Ferry Road in the western part of the county. Lowndes County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call for assistance at about 6:58 p.m. Accounts said Murphy was being driven by his parents into town while his mother performed CPR. He was transferred to Shands Hospital, where surgeons installed a pacemaker.

Cindy Folsom, 3889 Spain Ferry Road, is a neighbor of Murphy's parents, Mike and Helen Scott. In her 12 years at that address, she says lightning strikes are not uncommon. In the past two weeks, she said lightning struck her home, a neighbor's satellite, TV and two transformers have blown up.

"The lightning is really bad here," she said. "It knocked out the TV, air conditioner and telephone. A couple of weeks ago, the transformers blew out, too."

Although Folsom is not well acquainted with the family, she said she had just seen Murphy cutting the grass during the last week.

"I saw him mowing the yard and thought about how big he was getting," she said. "It is so sad, and I can't imagine what his family is going through. His mama is a really sweet woman."



To contact Tanya B. O'Berry, call 244-3400, ext. 239.

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