Chicago Teen Fighting for Her Life After Being Struck by Lightning Near Garfield Park Conservatory

NBC Universal, Inc.

A teen girl is fighting for her life after she was struck by lightning outside the Garfield Park Conservatory on Chicago’s West Side, authorities say.

Crews were called to the 300 block of North Central Park Avenue at approximately 1 p.m. after the girl was struck by lightning, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

The girl was taken to an area hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

According to officials with the Chicago Park District, the teen was visiting an outdoor garden space when she was struck by lightning.

Officials say that a defibrillator was brought in, with the device detecting a pulse. The girl was rushed to an area hospital after the scary incident.

Jordan Garrett, who was selling shaved ice near the conservatory when the storm arrived, described the loud crack of thunder that followed the lightning strike.

“It was big and it was loud,” he said. “We were talking to a lady and it startled all of us. We thought it hit a tree.”

Five minutes later, Garrett said that he saw paramedics rush to an area near the building.

Chicago Park District officials say that their buildings are open to the public in the event of inclement weather, and that residents caught out in severe weather can seek shelter within those structures.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that if individuals can’t find indoor shelter that they should crouch low to the ground rather than lying flat. That will help minimize contact points between the individual and the ground, which can potentially conduct electricity in the event of a lightning strike.

Officials with the National Weather Service recorded nearly 5,000 lightning strikes across the Chicago area during Wednesday’s severe weather outbreak.

Contact Us