CHICAGO (CBS) — A 13-year-old girl and two of her classmates were knocked unconscious when lightning hit near their bus stop in Round Lake Thursday morning.
According to school and fire officials, the students were waiting at their bus stop around 7:20 a.m. and sought shelter from the rain under a nearby tree when lightning struck.
One of the lightning strike victims, Carrington Monk, talked to CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole via Facetime from her room at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
The three middle schoolers were conscious when they were transported to the medical center. Two of the girls were a bit more dazed than Carrington Monk. Despite her injuries, she tried helping the other injured girls.
“I heard thunder and then the next thing I know, I am lying on the ground, unconscious,” recalled Monk.
From her hospital bed, the 13-year-old recalled the moments when a powerful lightning strike somehow knocked her and two classmates to the ground. They were huddled under a tree waiting for their school bus in a strong, sudden downpour.
“Then when I woke up, I felt the tingling and it started to fade away,” Monk said.
In the pounding rain, multiple crews rushed to the scene near Lotus and Ottawa Drive in Round Lake Heights. Three were transported to the hospital.
“We had a report of up to 9 students at a bus stop and we had three on the ground, semi-unconscious,” said Round Lake Fire Department Deputy Chief Joe Krueger.
Radar from the storm Thursday morning showed the storm was powerful, but short lived. Neighbors described its intensity.
“Then boom! That’s when the world seemed it exploded,” said neighbor Frank Yontz.
“It didn’t hit me as bad as it hit the other two,” Monk claimed. “I started shaking them to wake them. I said to breathe in and out.”
Carrington Monk remembered, in a daze, trying to revive the other 12-year-old girls that were knocked to the ground. A school nurse living nearby hurried in to help the injured, as did Carrington.
Social workers have been provided at Palombi Middle School for any traumatized students.