WESTAMPTON — A man was struck by lightning Wednesday afternoon at the Burlington Country Club while he was trying to get out of a sudden thunderstorm.

Police said Michael Ward, 70, was near the seventh hole in the 90-degree heat when a thunderstorm suddenly developed around 3:30 p.m. Ward was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was evident from the scene that Ward had been struck by lightning, according to police.

CBS Philly reported Ward was on his way to seek shelter from the storm under a tree that was hit by lightning.

"That's a nasty little storm cell. Very isolated but it was definitely spitting out heavy rain, lots of lightning, and possibly some hail," New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.

Thunderstorm that popped up over the Burlington Country Club
Thunderstorm that popped up over the Burlington Country Club (Radarscope)

It was the first fatal lightning strike in New Jersey since Viktor Ovsyankin, 71, was struck while watching a soccer game at Northern Valley High School in Demarest in 2012 according to the National Lightning Safety Council.

The National Weather Service also reports a tree came down on an apartment building off Sullivan Way in Ewing and more than an inch of rain fell in an hour in Brick.

Lightning also hit a utility pole in Lakewood on New Hampshire Avenue, according to the Lakewood Scoop.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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