NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County law enforcement officials believe that a 60-year-old man died as a result of a lighting strike Friday morning.
According to a press release from the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office, NCSO deputies arrived at the home on Shoreline Drive at approximately 11:30 a.m. and discovered the victim lying on the ground in his backyard.
Family members have confirmed that the victim is Hank Wiederhold, of Nacogdoches.
Wiederhold's former pastor, Frank Starr of First Lutheran Church in Lufkin, says the loss is devastating.
"Hank was a person who was a remarkable Christian man, and a remarkable Christian father," said Starr.
A witness reported hearing a loud boom that shook the house. The victim was found in the backyard a few minutes later.
The NCSO deputies on the scene noticed that the tree that the man was lying near had clearly been struck by lightning. In addition, the victim had a burn mark on his stomach.
"The way the accident occurred made it especially shocking. I think it's going to take us a little while to recover from the fact [that] it was just so sudden and I guess it reminds us that the Lord's time table for our lives is not always what we assume it to be," Starr said.
Nacogdoches County Justice of the Peace Kerry Don Williamson pronounced Wiederhold dead at the scene. No other family members or friends were willing to comment on Wiederhold's passing at this time.
Nacogdoches EMS also responded to the scene.
In May 2013, a Meshell Foxworth, 31-year-old IHOP employee, was standing in the parking lot holding an umbrella when lightning struck her, entering into her upper torso and exiting through her lower legs. There were a number of witnesses who saw the strike and called for help.
She was transported to Woodlands Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she later died.