Lightning Strike Kills Man on New Jersey Golf Course

A New Jersey man died after he was struck by lightning while playing golf at a local country club, authorities said.

Lt. Brian Ferguson of the Westampton Township Police tells PEOPLE that Michael Ward, 70, of Florence, was seeking shelter from the storm Wednesday afternoon at Burlington Country Club in Westampton Township.

Ward was near the course’s seventh hole when lightning struck the tree he was hiding under, killing him.

Eerily enough, The Washington Post reported the previous day that there had been no lightning deaths in the United States in 2021, which was a record this far into the year. According to the Lightning Safety Council, this was the first golf-related lightning death since 2017. The deadly lightning strike occurred as Powerful scattered Storms passed through the region.