Local farmer shares advice for National Lightning Awareness Week

RECTOR, AR (KAIT) - On August 8th 2011, A 71-year-old, William Arnold was struck by lightning.

As a storm started to move in, the men working in the field headed towards shelter but the storm got worse and for Arnold it was too late.

"He was out in the field chopping cotton for me and a thunderstorm come up all the sudden and they headed to the truck but he got struck by lightning before he could make it back to the truck," said Farmer Dale Vanguilder.

The men out in the field with Arnold said they saw a flash of light and then watched Arnold fall. When help arrived, Arnold was pronounced dead at the scene.The farmer Arnold worked for at the time was Dale Vanguilder, a farmer who remembers Arnold well.

"He was a very nice person," said Vanguilder.

He's become even more cautious with those who help him out in the field.

"You don't ever want to be out when it's lightning," said Vanguilder.

As for himself, Vanguilder said he tries to be as careful as possible when he's out farming. Especially now that he knows things like this can happen unexpected.

"I try to be safe but it can be just one of those spur of the moments lightning or whatever you want to call it," said Vanguilder.

His advice for other farmers is to be safe as possible and never assume an incident like this one could never happen to them.

"They just need to watch the weather and see what's going on around them and try to be protected the best they can," said Vanguilder.

For a list of lightning safety tips click here.

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