Campers tried to save Hiawatha woman fatally struck by lightning - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Campers tried to save Hiawatha woman fatally struck by lightning

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  • Lightning strike kills Hiawatha woman

    Lightning strike kills Hiawatha woman

    Monday, June 22 2015 12:18 AM EDT2015-06-22 04:18:24 GMT
    Saturday's storms killed an eastern Iowa woman. 42-year-old Rebecca McCarty woman died after being struck by lightning early Saturday evening at Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area near Palo in Linn County.More >>
    Saturday's storms killed an eastern Iowa woman. 42-year-old Rebecca McCarty woman died after being struck by lightning early Saturday evening at Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area near Palo in Linn County.More >>
PALO (KWWL) -

A lightning strike during Saturday's storms killed an eastern Iowa woman.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources say 42-year old Rebecca McCarty was camping at the Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area near Palo, Saturday evening around 5:30, when she was fatally stuck by lightning.

Jim Arnold was at the campsite Saturday and says it was unbelievable.

"We heard the sizzle and the boom and we glanced over here and that's when the lightning strike hit the lady right here. She went down immediately and didn't move," said Arnold.

Arnold says about 30 minutes before the fatal lightning strike, a camp ranger came to the campgrounds to let campers know a storm was moving through the area.

Arnold says McCarty was walking between campers with an umbrella with her family and friends.

"Everybody was startled and several people started running this way. The families hollered call 911. Unbelievable and it just light sprayed out like an umbrella almost like it followed the veins of the umbrella down," said Arnold.

Arnold says his son and several others quickly raced to the woman, but when they got there they sadly realized it was likely too late.

Paramedics drove the woman to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

He says Friday he had a conversation with the lady about the nice weather they saw that day

Sunday morning, McCarty's friends, who were camping with her at the time, were cleaning up her camper.

Inches from where McCarty was struck, there a small memorial around the tree reading "Rest in peace, Becky."

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