Chelsea teen dies after lightning strike

Published 3:16 pm Thursday, August 9, 2012


CHELSEA – Chelsea resident Tristan Barger, 14, has passed away from injuries sustained from a lightning strike.

Barger was vacationing with his family in a boat off Shell Island, which is close to Panama City Beach, Fla. Barger and his stepfather, James Keith Brown, were walking on the beach around noon Aug. 6 when a storm approached.

Barger, who had his ankle in a cast from a recent gymnastics accident, was being carried on Brown’s back, according to earlier reports from Bay County Sheriff’s Office’s Public Information Officer Ruth Corley.

The pair was struck by lightning, according to Corley. Barger was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the “Prayers for Tristan Barger” Facebook page, Barger passed away on the evening of Aug. 8.

A memorial honoring both Barger and Brown will be held at Chelsea Community Church Sunday, Aug. 12. A viewing for the family will be from 2:30-4 p.m., and the viewing will open to friends from 4-7 p.m. A funeral service will begin at 7 p.m. A graveside service and burial will be held Monday, Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. at K Springs Cemetery.