GRAPELAND, Texas – A high school football player injured when lightning struck the team as it finished practice has died of severe burns, authorities said.
Russell Pennington, an 18-year-old senior at Grapeland High School (search), died Wednesday in a hospital. He was among about 40 players and coaches with the team in east Texas who were hospitalized after the lightning bolt struck Tuesday afternoon.
All the injured were treated for soreness, headaches, abdominal pains and burns, and all had been released Wednesday, with the exception of one coach, who was in good condition, officials said.
Assistant coach Jerry Richards said about 40 players were running sprints when the bolt struck one player in the middle of the pack and others hit the ground.
"It staggered everybody," he said. "The force of it either knocked you down or knocked you backward several feet."
Grapeland, a town of about 1,500, is about 120 miles southeast of Dallas.