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Man Killed By Lighting Strike While Attempting To Warn Beachgoers Of Storm

A New Jersey man was fatally struck by lightning while attempting to warn other beachgoers of an incoming storm, police confirmed via NBC News on Wednesday (June 26).

Patrick Dispoto, 59, of Manchester Township, was found unconscious Sunday (June 23) on J Street Beach at 7:38 p.m., according to Seaside Park Police Sgt. Andrew Casole. Dispoto’s girlfriend, Ruth Fussell, who was sitting in the car at the time of the incident, told investigators that he went back to warn others of the potential dangerous weather in the area.

“He said, ‘I’ll be right back.’ I said, ‘You have no business going back.’ And he says, ‘I’m just going to warn these kids because the sky is going to open. I’m just going to warn these kids – one minute.’ I said, ‘No,’” Fussell told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

Fussell said she made three unanswered calls to Dispoto and waited 15 minutes for him to return before going back to the beach and finding him face down in the sand with a stranger standing over him.

“[The other person] was saying, ‘Help, help, 911.’ I administered mouth to mouth, and the guy’s wife was doing chest compressions,” Fussell said.

Dispoto was transported by EMS to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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