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Man struck by lightning while playing soccer in Pittsburgh park in critical condition

PITTSBURGH — A man is in critical condition after being struck by lightning while he was playing soccer Monday afternoon in a Pittsburgh park.

The 45-year-old man was hit in Schenley Park, a city spokesperson confirmed. Bystanders performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived and resuscitated him.

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"We heard the thunder and the lightning was pretty much right after it and we could see the bolts were pretty close," said Sam Bellin, who helped the victim.

Bellin told his team to stop everything they were doing and run to a pavilion for safety.


He said he noticed a group of guys out in the grass who continued their soccer game. Then, one of his boys saw danger.

"He said he yelled, 'Really, oh my God. I see smoke,'" Bellin said.

It was coming from the same area where those men were playing soccer. Bellin said he had someone call 911 and then ran over and saw a man on the ground.


"I knelt down next to him and I said, 'Sir, sir, are you OK? Can you hear me?' and there was no response," Bellin said.

Bellin said he was afraid to touch the man because he thought he would get electrocuted.

He checked his pulse and there was nothing.

"I thought we should start CPR and I also thought but I can't touch him because then I'm gonna die too," Bellin said.

The victim is now at UPMC Presbyterian.

The lightning strike happened just after 2 p.m., while a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was in place for the area.

Pittsburgh's Chief Meteorologist Stephen Cropper was able to isolate the strike believed to have struck the man.