Mike Blackard was taken to the Kiowa County Hospital Monday night after being struck by lightning.
Mike, who was working for Leroy Deewall, was just finishing up for the evening. He folded up the crust buster and was standing beside the tractor preparing to put the tools away when the lightning struck about 8 p.m. The bolt of lightning knocked Mike down and paralyzed him from the hips down. It set fire to the field into the road.
The Oscar Blounts were in the field nearby and Phyllis hurried over to see what had been struck by the lightning. She found Mike lying beside the road. Sheriff Phil Hackney arrived shortly and took Mike and his mother, Mrs. Mabel Blackard, to Greensburg to the hospital there.
The fire burned all around and under the tractor and then toward the plowed ground but did very little damage. The tractor was not harmed.
It is extremely fortunate that Mike was not on the tractor at the time the lightning struck. The bolt evidently jumped to the ground near where Mike was standing. There was no report of serious burns from the lightning. Mike considers himself to be a very fortunate person.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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