Severe Storm in South Carolina Kills 15-Year-Old Boy After He Was Struck By Falling Tree and 28-Year-Old Man After He Was Struck By Lightning

On Monday (August 7), a severe storm ravaged its way through the East Coast of the United States – affecting more than 120 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas.

Residents were met damaging wind gusts, large hail, heavy rain, lightning, and even tornadoes – leaving more than one million people without power and thousands of events being canceled (including a Carly Rae Jepsen concert at Pier 17 in New York City). Unfortunately, the severe storm claimed the lives of two.

A 15-year-old boy, who was identified as Evan Kinley, died at around 5 p.m. in South Carolina on Monday after being struck by a falling tree –  which was uprooted due to the winds. Earlier that day, a 28-year-old male, identified as Marquin Russell, died after being struck by lightning in a parking lot in Alabama. 

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Evan Kinley had just arrived at his grandparents house in Anderson, South Carolina and was walking up to their garage door when a nearby tree uprooted – falling and landing directly on him. First responders were quick to the scene, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival. He was just 15 years old at the time.

Kinley received tributes from the Anderson School District 5, where he played football at T.L. Hanna High School, and the Broadway Fire Department, where he took part in a volunteer junior fire program and his step-father was a firefighter. Fellow firefighters, classmates, and teammates mourned his tragic death. 

“He just always had a smile on his face. He showed up every day to work, was a great teammate, very energetic [and] fun to be around and he had a lot of friends on the team,” his head coach said – while a fellow volunteer firefighter likened his death to that of losing a family member. He was beloved by all. 

A funeral for Evan Kinley is being held on Saturday, where friends and family members will join together to remember a life that was taken far too soon. And with storm season in full affect, his death is a steady reminder to hug your loved ones extra tight because we never know what tragedy might unfold next. 

Severe Storm Claims the Life of 28-Year-Old Male in Alabama

Evan Kinley wasn’t the only victim of the severe storm that made its way through the East Coast on Monday. At around 3:30 p.m., the Florence Alabama Police Department released a statement claiming a 28-year-old male was struck by lightning while working in a parking lot at Florence Industrial Park. 

On August 7, 2023, Florence Police, Florence Fire, and EMS responded to a medical call at 3110 Kendall Drive in the…

Posted by Florence Alabama Police Department on Monday, August 7, 2023

The male, who was identified as Marquin Russell, succumbed to his injuries – just a few hours before Evan’s death in South Carolina. It is unclear if Marquin died at the scene or in the hospital, but it was confirmed that he was struck sometime before 2 p.m. and the statement came nearly two hours later. 

After news of his death went viral, Marquin’s father posted a statement describing his son as a ‘loving kindhearted young man’ who took his roles as a son, uncle, brother, and friend seriously. His father thanked the city of Florence for ‘embracing my son and his family’ and also thanked his employers. 

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It was later confirmed that Marquin was on his way to his car to go on a work break. Police officers were using the tragedy as a reminder to ‘just be careful’ when going outside during a thunderstorm. It’s easy to overlook the danger we put ourselves in during a severe storm, but these stories prove that it can be fatal.

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