Man killed in lightning strike remembered as 'young' and 'full of life'

raretakis@herald-leader.comAugust 23, 2013 

Scotty Elam Jr.

The father of one of the men killed in Wednesday's lightning strike said Friday his son was young and full of life.

"He liked to have fun," Scott Elam Sr. said of his son Scotty Elam Jr., 25. "He joked. He was just a kid."

Scotty Elam Jr., 25, and Bobby Lee Maggard, 29, died Wednesday after being struck by lightning in a barn at Wilmot Farm, which straddles the Madison-Garrard county line.

A group of men were hanging tobacco in two barns off of Oscar Ray Road when it began to storm. The men ran out of one of the barns to warn the others that it would be dangerous if hit by lightning.

Just as the group approached the other barn, the lightning struck through a crack in the barn, killing Elam and Maggard instantly, said Garrard County Coroner Daryl Hodge. The two were pronounced dead at the scene at 3:08 p.m.

Hodge said one man tried performing CPR on Elam and Maggard, but was unsuccessful. Three others were injured by the lightning.

Scott Elam said his son had worked various jobs during the summer in Garrard County but had lived most of his life in Lexington. Scotty Elam Jr. liked to play basketball, and he was friends with Bobby Lee Maggard, whom he had met through other work friends.

Three months ago, Scotty Elam Jr. made a confession of faith at Mount Hebron Baptist Church after the sermon, his father said.

"The one good thing we can take is before this accident, he was saved," Scott Elam said. His son also volunteered this summer at the Vacation Bible School.

Scotty Elam Jr. is survived by his fiancée, Christina Dean, and his three children: Skyler, 7, Brooklyn, 5, and Jeremyah, 2.

Scotty Elam Jr. will be buried at 11 a.m. Monday at Evergreen Memory Gardens in Lexington. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home in Lexington.

Bobby Lee Maggard's funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Ramsey Funeral Home in Lancaster. Visitation will be at 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Maggard's family could not be reached Friday.

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