A Virginia community is saddened by the death last night of 11-year-old Chelal Matos.
Two boys were struck by lightning as they tried to get in a game of catch before thunderstorms rolled in. One was killed. The other is in the hospital.
The boys were playing catch near left field. A father of another player brought these flowers and laid them nearby. Parents in Fredericksburg awoke to the shocking headline of the local paper. News that hits too close to the home field where Chris Colpert’s son learned to play baseball.
“When I woke him up and told him this morning, he didn’t know last night, his first instinct was, he cried,” Colpert said.
Colpert’s son, only one year older than Chelal Matos, a sixth grader at chancellor middle school. The school’s principal greeted children and parents this morning and had four grief counselors standing by.
Death by lightning is rare. According to struck-by-lightning.org there were 329 people hit by lightning last year. 91 percent were injured. Eight percent were killed.
Back at the ballpark a neighbor who heard the crack of lightning came out of curiosity.
“It’s pretty sad, pretty sad,” the neighbor said.
And this dad returned to this field of broken dreams to honor the young life lost here, and the young lives spared.
“Could have been anybody’s son. Could have been my son. Could be your son. It’s absolutely tragic.”