Camper killed by lightning along Florida river

(Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office)

BAKER, Fla. (WNCN) — A Kentucky man on a family camping trip to the Blackwater River in Florida was fatally struck by by lightning outside his tent Monday night, deputies confirmed.

“It’s believed lightning hit a tree beside him and knocked him to the ground during a thunderstorm around 7:30 p.m.,” the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office wrote.

Jeremy Harper, 35, of Cloverport, Kentucky, was taken to a nearby hospital, but died about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Harper had been staying at the Wilderness Landing Campground in Baker, Florida, along with eight family members, including six children, who ranged in age from 15 months to 13 years, deputies said. No other injuries were reported.

A Florida government website describes the Blackwater as “one of the purest sand-bottom rivers in the nation.”

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