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PICTURED: 44-year-old father of two who was fatally struck by lightning on Fourth of July

The 44-year-old father who was fatally struck by lightning while celebrating July Fourth with his family in South Carolina has been pictured. 

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Ryan Gamble, of Andrews, was identified by Georgetown County Deputy Coroner Chase Ridgeway as being the victim of the incident.

Lightning hit a tree near Lawshe Plantation in Georgetown County on Thursday afternoon, according to Georgetown County Battalion Chief David Geney.

The lightning struck a tree on shore next to the river, Geney explained to WCSC. The strike injured as many as a dozen people.

Geney said the area is remote, and pouring rain and unpaved back roads made it difficult to reach the area. 

Three people were taken to a hospital for treatment, one of whom was in critical condition and died shortly after, WPDE reported. 

A homeowner claimed that the family had been grilling pork chops at the time of the lightning strike.  

‘We were just sitting in the river waiting for the storm to blow over,’ survivor Joseph Dalzell said. ‘The lightning hit the tree and ran through all of us.’

‘I was worried about everyone, who was okay and who wasn’t…I’m amazed it happened; wasn’t expecting it.’ 

Asked what it felt like, survivor Billie Camlin replied, ‘Like a shock through your body. Indescribable.’

Camlin said everyone who was affected belonged to one group of family and friends, ranging in age from 9 to 46.

She recalled that one person ‘wasn’t good’ and needed CPR performed on them.

Edward Williams alerted authorities once the strike hit.  

‘I was chilling there in the house and the next thing I knew there was someone banging there on the door,’ he described.

‘And I was just thinking like, I’m sure everyone is out of the river by now. It was a little kid in a panic that said a bunch of people got struck by lightning and he wanted me to call 911.’

Williams said he struggled with what to do and had a hard time getting a phone signal.  

‘A moment of not confusion,’ he added, ‘but for a brief second not sure what to do first. You know like go help or go get help. Which I knew there was nothing I could do so I went to go get help and try to get the rescue people in here.’

The witness said the group was ‘all hugging each other and distressed.’ 

The hunting attraction and event venue is located along the Black River near the coast. 

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