Teen struck by lightning Saturday on Marco Island

Published: July 17, 2021 7:18 PM EDT
Updated: July 20, 2021 9:38 AM EDT

A teenage boy was struck by lightning Saturday on Marco Island.

It happened just before 4 p.m. in the 1000 block of South Collier Boulevard.

The Marco Island Police Department says the 17-year-old’s father attempted CPR before the teen was rushed to the hospital. You can hear the father giving CPR during the 911 call. “1, 2, 3, 4…”

A woman was able to capture the boom of thunder before the lightning strike on video. She was also the one who called 911 to help first responders find the boy.

You can hear her frantically screaming on that 911 call. “We’re in front of the South Seas Tower on Marco Island Beach, someone got struck by lightning,” they said.

Catherine Rabidou says she heard the lightning strike. She took her video at about 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. She lives in the building right in front of where the teenager was struck.

“I was frightened I was really frightened because it sounded like a bomb went off in the building,” said Rabidou. “And it definitely made your skin jump you know I just didn’t’ know what was going on all of a sudden I saw the police cars and a fire chief car rushing to where I heard the bang.”

The teen, named Walker Bethune, was not a Marco Island resident. The school he attends in Macon, GA says he was vacationing with his family on Marco Island at the time.

The family says Walker was flown to a hospital in Miami.

The family can be heard during the 911 call begging for Walker to hang on for dear life.

“There you go you’re doing good.” “Stay with me…stay with me.”

On Sunday night, the school held a prayer vigil for Bethune. Logan Bowlds is the headmaster at Stratford Academy, the school Bethune attends. “He’s an absolutely phenomenal young man. He’s a go-getter, he’s compassionate, he’s hardworking, and in fact, the reason why our pavement is so sparkling right now, he was pressure washing it,” Bowlds said.

WINK News did reach out to Walker’s father but the family is not ready to speak.

Rabidou said she used to have such fond feelings when looking out onto the beach but now, she thinks about how someone almost lost their life there.

Now, all Rabidou can do is hope and pray that the teen makes it through this. “People are praying and I know I’m one of them. It’s sad it really is sad. Let’s just hope he fights and stays strong,” she said.

Walker is still fighting for his life in that Miami hospital. Friends of the family say he’s in critical, yet stable condition.