Stratford Academy's Walker Bethune Dies After Lightning Hit

Walker Bethune, a rising senior at Stratford Academy in Macon, died on Wednesday just weeks after being struck by lightning on Marco Island, Florida, the Naples Daily News reported on Thursday. 

The Marco Island Police Department reported that the 17-year-old Bethune was "unconscious and not breathing" following the strike in mid-July, the NDN reported. At the time, Bethune's father had revived him. His brother, Alex, and his mother were also with Walker at the time of the hit. 

Bethune had just completed his junior season at Stratford Academy, where he had run personal best times of 2:15.41 in the 800m and 11:36.00 in the 3,200m. 

Last fall, Bethune finished 57th at the GHSA Class 1A Private championships and ran a personal best time of 18:44.77 for 5K that season. He was a two-time state cross country state qualifier. 

The MileSplit Georgia wants to send our deepest condolences, our best wishes and support to the Bethune family on their tragic loss.

For those interested in supporting the Bethune family, they have have started an online journal to reflect on Walker's life and to offer an avenue for support.