HolyCoast: San Antonio Pastor Killed by Lightning Strike

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

San Antonio Pastor Killed by Lightning Strike

I guess when it's your time to go, it's your time to go:

A 50-year-old pastor from a church here in San Antonio was killed Tuesday afternoon after he was hit by a bolt of lightning while hiking with his two teenage sons, authorities told News 4 WOAI.

The man and his two sons were hiking in the Lost Maples State Natural Area near Vanderpool close to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. It started raining and the family went to seek cover under a cedar tree, Bandera County Sheriff Don Berger said. The father was then hit by lightning and died instantly, officials said.

The park is located about 65 miles northwest of San Antonio.

Members of the Grace Fellowship Baptist Church told News 4 WOAI Tuesday night it was their pastor, William Clardy, who was killed by the lightning strike. He had been at the church for more than three years.

After the lightning strike, Clardy's 18-year-old son ran for help. But a responding park ranger and medic could not revive Clardy.

"We were too late when we got there," Lost Maples Lead Park Ranger Bill Bailey said. "He was already deceased."

Some years ago I was riding a moped down a trail outside of Breckenridge, Colorado when a thunderstorm came up. My cousin and I retreated under a tree, and after several lightning strikes around the area, it suddenly occurred to me that I was doing exactly what they tell you not to do - stand under a tree in a thunderstorm. We moved out away from the tree, got a good soaking, but lived to talk about it.

Unfortunately, this pastor made the same mistake I did but didn't get away with it.

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