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Columbia man dies after he and wife are struck by lightning during Florida vacation

·2 min read

A Columbia man died this week after both he and his wife were struck by lightning while vacationing in Florida.

Brent and Kristen Jerome were both hit Saturday at Sanibel beach near Fort Myers, according to multiple news reports and a blog from their church, the Downtown Church in Columbia.

Their young children, 2 and 5, were close enough to witness the lightning strike but were unharmed during the incident, according to the Fort Myers News Press.

After the pair were struck by lightning, they were rushed to a nearby hospital to be evaluated, according to Fox 4 TV in southwest Florida.

Downtown Church posted on its blog Thursday that Brent Jerome passed away Wednesday.

“Words fail to capture the grief, sadness, anger, and shock that his family, his friends, and this church are feeling after such a freak accident,” the blog read.

The blog also said that Kristen was recovering from her injuries. The church posted a link where donations to the family can be sent.

A Downtown Church spokesperson could not be reached for comment Friday.

The Columbia Fireflies posted a video on Twitter honoring the family, who were season ticket holders since the Fireflies came to Columbia in 2016.

“It is with sad hearts that we share this story,” the Fireflies posted on Twitter. “Brent & Kristen Jerome have been Fireflies family since 2016. On July 25, Brent & Kristen were struck by lightning while vacationing with their children. With broken hearts, we share that Brent has passed. Kristin is in recovery.”

The team announced it would be auctioning off a jersey signed by Tim Tebow and donating all of the proceeds to the Jerome family. Tebow, a former University of Florida football star who plays the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, played for the Fireflies during their 2017 season.

The auction is currently live, and bids can be placed until 5 p.m. Aug. 9.

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