Deadly lightning strikes brings safety warnings

A crack of lightning struck 81-year-old Jay Freres Friday afternoon as he was on his typical morning walk with his wife in Largo. He didn't survive.

"He was just probably one of the most pleasant individuals you would ever want to meet," said one of his neighbors.

He is at least the 8th person this year to be killed by a lightning strike nationwide and at least the 2nd in Florida.

Florida may be known as the sunshine state, but we're also considered the lightning capital of the U.S.

"The simple saying you've probably heard is, "if thunder roars, get in doors," said FOX 13 Meteorologist Lindsay Milbourne.

She reminds us that storms even miles away can be dangerous.

"It can be 10 to maybe 20 miles away, and you can be struck by lightning. So if you can see it, or hear the thunder, get away and get inside," Milbourne said.

She says stay inside until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.

It may sound like child's play, considering the odds of getting struck are about 1 in 12,000 in your lifetime, but it does happen.

It happened to Jay Freres Friday with deadly consequences.

"Honestly the biggest thing is to not mess around with it. Respect the danger," Milbourne added.