Top 3 Headlines on WHSV.com July 22

These are the most viewed headlines on WHSV.com for July 22nd. Stories with available video will have a link in the headline.

Lightning Strikes Send Three to Hospital

Reporter: Estephany Escobar

HARRISONBURG, Va. Three people went to the Rockingham Memorial Hospital, after they were hit by lightning on Sunday afternoon.

The incident occurred outside a home on the 200 block of Green Street after 2 p.m.

According to the Harrisonburg Police department, the three people were in a tree when lightning struck. It hit one of them and two others felt the aftershock.

Tim Godshall who lives next door from where it happened said he is shocked by the incident. "I know lightning it's dangerous but this is the first time that I have been right next to someone who was injured by it," said Godshall.

However, he said he heard the strength of the storms from his home. "It was loud. It wasn't the loudest I've ever heard but most notably the lightning and the thunder were simultaneous. There wasn't any gap at all. It sounded very close," said Godshall.

He said minutes later he heard the ambulance. "We were concerned as soon as we heard the sirens, that something had happened," said Godshall.

The Harrisonburg Fire Department Battalion Chief Brett Hartt said incidents like this are unusual. "I have not seen too many people being struck by lighting in my career, but it does happen," said Hartt.

Hartt recommends people to stay indoors even 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder. "Make sure you are inside a building, if you are by a car, at least go inside the car, pull your windows up. Try to stay away from the outdoors, try not to be in the highest thing in the area. Don't lean against concrete buildings, you know seek shelter," said Hartt.

This is a lesson for Godshall and his neighbors. "Storms are dangerous. It's something that I do a lot of work outside and don't really think about the danger often times but this is a reminder that it can be very dangerous," said Godshall.

If you are outside when lightning strikes, the National Weather Service recommends you to get off elevated areas like hills, never lay flat on the ground and never seek shelter under a tree.

 

Evidence in W. Va. Sheriff's Slaying Disclosed

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Prosecution evidence in the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum includes the suspect's mental health records.

The Charleston Gazette reports that Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks disclosed a list of evidence in the case against Tennis Maynard last week.

The evidence includes orders of involuntary hospitalizations from Williamson Memorial Hospital, Logan-Mingo Mental Health Clinic and Highland Hospital in Charleston.

Maynard's family has said he has mental health problems stemming from exposure to harmful chemicals and injuries while working at an Alabama mine in 2007.

The Delbarton resident is charged in state court with murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing. He also faces federal firearms charges.

Crum was fatally shot April 3 while sitting in his cruiser in downtown Williamson.

 

Giant 'Corpse Flower' Blooms Next to US Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The long wait is finally over for visitors who have been yearning for a whiff of a giant flower that smells oddly like rotting flesh.

The giant rainforest plant known as a "corpse flower" for its terrible smell began blooming Sunday afternoon at the U.S. Botanic Garden next to the Capitol. Experts had been anticipating its bloom for more than a week and have extended the garden's hours for visitors.

Garden officials expect the flower to hit "peak smell" early Monday, and remain open for one or two days.

The flower is officially known as the titan arum. It is native to the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia, and was discovered in 1878. Scientists say the flower's odor attracts insects that are normally drawn to rotting flesh.

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