Two Boys Indirectly Struck By Lightning

By: Erin Pulsanti Email
By: Erin Pulsanti Email

It was a scary afternoon for two brothers at the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Expo when they were indirectly struck by lightning.

Keith and Kyle Townsend's mom says the two were rolling out the awning of a camper when it was struck by lightning. The bolt ran through their arms and exited their feet. Both of the boys have burns on the bottom of their feet but were checked out by emergency officials and deemed okay to show their animals.

This is the second lightning strike in one week and area E.M.T's want to remind everyone to seek shelter if a storm is on the way.

"If you're going to be an area like the fairgrounds, find shelter in advance. If you know it's going to get bad find that shelter in advance," explains Amanda Cunningham, a firefighter and E.M.T with the Eastwood Volunteer Fire Department. "As soon as it looks like its going to get bad, go ahead and seek that shelter. Things can be replaced. Don't try to take down awnings, don't try to take down canopies, just get in that shelter as quickly as you can."

Sheila Townsend said she planned to take the boys to the hospital after their shows were complete.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by just so you know on Jul 23, 2012 at 04:34 PM
    just to make a few things clear if you are not or have not been a member of 4H or FFA you have no idea what the fair really means to the members. I am sure that if the two hit were in alot of pain and the injurys were all that serious then they would have went to the ER then however if you were not there nor a person showing alivestockanaimalat the fair you, nor even the two boys then who are you to say what they should have done...
  • by Mike Location: parkersburg on Jul 20, 2012 at 01:41 PM
    I personally know these boys' dad...he would NOT have risked their health for ANYTHING that he and his wife felt was serious. Remember folks.....giving opinions on things and situations you know nothing about often makes you look really stupid.
  • by WOW on Jul 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM
    Im hearing alot of supportive comments now and that is good, but also now im hearing alot of insulting comments toward city people. There are lazy people every where. In the city and in the country. My grandfather was one of the hardest working men I knew and he lived in the city all his life working in a steel mill. I have lived in the city and I have lived in the country too. They both require hard work if you want to get things done.
  • by 4-H Parent Location: Rockport,WV on Jul 20, 2012 at 08:55 AM
    I am proud of the boys for finishing out their projects.I don't think people who are not involved in 4-H understand how important this show is for our kids. The boys were fine they were cleared by more than one person. Therefor they should be commended on following through and finishing what they started a year ago. They went to the hospital their parents were by their side. I also commend Kyle for speaking up.
  • by OK on Jul 20, 2012 at 08:31 AM
    Wow REGARDLESS of how old they were. I would encourage my child to go to the hospital. Being struck by lightening can cause other problems later on during the day or week! I understand you all are hard working boys, but please put your safety first! I would hate to see one of the good kids these days be taken so young
  • by Check your facts folks on Jul 19, 2012 at 05:30 PM
    Ok everyone, since when should a mother be charged with neglect for not forcing her 18 and 19 year old sons to go to the hospital? Last I checked, she has no legal right to do so. Maybe WTAP confused you by calling them boys. The age says they are men, and most of us would call mom a meddling mother for interfering with their wishes. Get a grip folks and get the fact before you get you tongue waggling.
  • by KYLE TOWNSEND THE ONE WHO GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTING Location: Mineral Wells on Jul 19, 2012 at 04:59 PM
    First of all after the emts cleared us it was my brother and that I that decided to see our show out and finish our project. Our parents didnt make us put the awning on the camper up that was our decision. We are in need of more parents like mine and more hard working young men like ourselves. We are recovering fine. And last of all my parents did the right thing and stayed by our side through out our time in the ER. They did what was best. And i thank them and everyone for the continued support.
  • by GROW UP on Jul 19, 2012 at 04:03 PM
    grow up folks !!!!!!! geez kudos for the boys ACTUALLY being outside DOING STUFF besides setting in the house playing video games,watchin TV eatin cheetos being LAZY with Mommy and daddy catering to their every beckin call !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! us folks who grewup on the farm,instead of inside engrossed in video games & TV are a lot better off than those who didnt !!!!!! Good for the parents that they raised sons who,know the importance of dedication and sticking with something even if it means they gota suck it up for a lil bit !!!!! just glad Keith and Kyle are OK!!!! stop pointnig fingers!!! if you want to point fingers,point them @ the parents who are raising video game,TV addicted couch potatoes who are 2 dang lazy to go outside and DO ANYTHING !!!!!! UGH PEOPLE MAKE ME ANGRY !!!!!!! people with livestock know that it takes dediction PERIOD yall making nasty comments odviousely have NO CLUE about this !!!! WAY TO GO TOWNESEND BOYS,YOU SURVIVED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by 4-H & FFA Alumni Location: Wood Co. on Jul 19, 2012 at 03:23 PM
    Can't believe the nerve of some of the WTAP Viewers, and their comments. These projects aren't just about ribbons, and shows, it's a way of life for people who have grown up around programs such as 4-H and FFA. These boys are proud of their accomplishments, and very well should be. Dedication and pride from 4-H and FFA Members, are only a couple of the attributes these young people possess, and is something very few know or understand, THAT is the sad part in this situation. Lack of dedication, hard work, pride, and commitment is exactly what's wrong with our country and world today. Negative comments such as some of the ones left on here aren't needed, nor are they appreciated. Way to "Cowboy Up" Kyle and Keith, glad you're both OK. Thank you to them, and everyone else for being positive role models for 4-H and FFA programs! ~"I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words, but of deeds..... for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny."~ (only a couple lines from the FFA Creed, words more people should live by)
  • by FFA& 4_H Alum & Advisor on Jul 19, 2012 at 02:16 PM
    Work Ethic, dedication, and follow through. These are the words that come to mind when I think of our 4-H and FFA exhibitors at any local or state fair. I myself grew up showing animals and know the sweat, blood, tears and time that these youth put into their projects. When everyone else doubts the future of our country I know that the FFA and 4-Hers I get to work with on a daily basis, will continue to use the hard work, dedication and follow through that they have learned from these experiences. So if you question why they or their parents would allow them to show and then go to the Dr. this is why! As you enjoy your morning breakfast remember it is because of these farm families and the traditions they are teaching our youth! Thank you
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