Lightning kills Westminster man, 28, as he plays horseshoes in yard

September 23, 1998|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

There was no rain or thunder Monday night when a sudden lightning bolt killed Wilson Harry Blizzard Jr., a 28-year-old Westminster plumber and athlete who was pitching horseshoes with friends in his yard.

Blizzard, of the 1700 bock Old Westminster Road, was pronounced dead at 8 p.m. at Carroll County General Hospital after attempts by his fiancee, friends and paramedics to revive ,, him failed, according to Maryland State Police and Westminster emergency crew members.

Blizzard was pitching horseshoes at 7: 18 p.m. when a sudden bolt of lightning struck a medium-sized tree about six feet away -- then hit him and a friend, knocking both to the ground, said Trooper Ed Winkler.

Neither man was holding a horseshoe at the time.

When Blizzard did not get up, the friends started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the trooper said. There was a storm nearby at the time.

Blizzard's fiancee, Jill Rickels, said, "I was in the house when the lightning stuck. It sounded like an explosion, and my neighbor screamed, 'Get out here -- Wilson's hit.'

Blizzard was divorced and has an 8-year-old son, Brandon Blizzard of Westminster. He also is survived by his mother, Mildred Fuhrman Blizzard; grandparents, Walter and Gladys Fuhrman of Upperco; a half-brother, Robert Brickert of Burns, Wyo.; and a half-sister, Tammy Brandt of White Hall.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Eline Funeral Homes in Hampstead.

Pub Date: 9/23/98

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