TORONTO – Four people were injured Tuesday morning after being struck by lightning at a golf course north of Toronto.
A 60-year-old man from Richmond Hill was given CPR at the scene and was revived by an ICU nurse who happened to be at the golf course, according to York Region EMS Superintendent Tim McMullin.
He was taken to hospital in critical condition.
Three other men were taken to hospital in stable condition: A 51-year-old man from Thornhill, a 53-year-old man from Toronto and a 56-year-old man, also from Toronto.
The four men were golfing at Bethesda Grange Golf Course on Warden Avenue near Bethesda Side Road.
Witness Peter Epstein said one man appeared “dead” after the lightning strike – skin burned, clothing melted.
“He wasn’t breathing, and he didn’t have a pulse, and he wasn’t conscious. He was dead.”
“With CPR, the pulse came back,” Epstein said. “He started breathing on his own.”
Epstein and other witnesses on the scene said they heard a horn before the flash of lightning, which signals golfers to leave the course. They said the victims were near the 18th hole – about 50 yards from finishing their round of golf.
Some golfers said they only heard the warning horn a few minutes before the lightning struck, but staff at the club said it was sounded as soon as possible, about ten minutes before.
“[The staff members] obviously had their sniffers out and figured out that there might have been lightning in the area. Next thing you know–ten minutes later–the incident happened,” said ClubLink Corporation Golf Operations executive director Brent Miller.
“When that horn goes, you certainly do need to get off that golf course.”
Much of southern Ontario was under a thunderstorm watch at the time, as scattered thunderstorms crossed the region Tuesday morning. The weather was expected to get worse late in the afternoon and into the evening.
With a file from Global News reporter Cindy Pom