Associated Press Release
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- Three people are hospitalized after lightning struck near where they were standing in southwest Florida.
Manatee County Fire Rescue says the three were standing outside a Bradenton house early Monday when lightning struck nearby. Authorities say the three are in stable condition.
A Lee County Sheriff's Office patrol car also was struck by lightning early Monday. The deputy driving the car had to pull over when its engine shut off.
Officials say the emergency lights atop the vehicle were shattered but the deputy was not injured.
According to the National Weather Service, Florida led the country last year with five deaths caused by lightning strikes. Three lightning fatalities have been reported in Florida so far this year.