Runner dies after lightning strike at high school meet

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A lightning strike killed a high school
runner as he left a pole vault pit shortly before a track meet Thursday, the
county coroner said.

"It came out of nowhere," said Scott Hankey, Carbondale
Community High School's baseball coach, whose team was preparing
for a game nearby. "There was a very, very light rain. There
wasn't anything in the way of dark clouds. It didn't look anything
like a thunderstorm."

"It sounded like a sonic boom," Nick Evans, a member of the 1,600-meter relay team with Williams, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Corey Williams, 18, was returning to the main track area from
the pole vault pit about 4 p.m. when the lightning bolt hit him.
Coaches and others tried to revive him, but he was declared dead by
the time he reached a hospital.

Thomas Kupferer, Jackson County's coroner, confirmed that
lightning killed the teenager.

More than 200 people attended a candlelight vigil for Williams
on Thursday night, and classes at the school were canceled Friday
to give the students time to grieve.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.