Father: Jesse Watlington's lightning death was a 'needless tragedy'

1:18 PM, Nov 19, 2012   |    comments
Jesse Watlington
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Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- The father of an 11-year-old boy who died after being struck by lightning said the boy's death was a "needless tragedy" during a press conference on Monday morning.

During the conference, the attorneys representing Alda and Charles Watlington, the parents of Jesse, announced that a lawsuit had been filed against the Southwest Florida Christian Academy and its affiliated church, McGregor Baptist Church.

"We don't feel it was a safe environment for those boys to be in in that day in question," said Attorney Willie Gary. "There was nothing or nobody there but those children."

Gary also argued that despite initial reports, through "reliable sources," they have learned that a lightning detecting device was not on the field when Jesse was struck.

Jesse was walking onto the field for football practice at Southwest Florida Christian Academy when he was struck by lightning. He was flown to Tampa General Hospital, where he died after being taken off life support.

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