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Lightning lands Warren hunter in Greenville burn center

[9/10/2001] A bolt of lightning burned a Vicksburg hunter Saturday evening as he was leaving a field from a dove hunt called early by unrelenting thunderstorms.

The accident was one of several attributed to storms that dropped 1.06 inches of rain on Vicksburg and Warren County.

Mark “Buddy” Wyatt, 23, 307 Maple Circle, was taken to ParkView Regional Medical Center and later transferred to Mississippi Firefighters Memorial Burn Center in Greenville. A spokesman there said late in the evening Wyatt was in critical but stable condition.

Wyatt and a group of friends had been hunting off Chickasaw Road at about 5 p.m. when the lightning hit, said Calvin Pugh of Vicksburg, one of those in the hunting party.

Pugh said he and others were headed to his truck to beat the rain when he heard a loud boom behind him.

Pugh said he turned and saw Wyatt on the ground.

Hunters put Wyatt in a truck and took him to ParkView.

“Never seen anything like this,” Pugh said. “Don’t want to see it again.”

He said Wyatt was conscience and told him he couldn’t move. The lightning apparently struck Wyatt abdomen, leaving burns on his trunk. It also hit the shotgun he was carrying, Pugh said. He said the stock was shattered.

Separately, a Warren County man was injured when his tractor toppled while he mowed the side of hill on Muirhead Road, Chief Roy Redditt said.

Billy Muirhead, no age available, 279 Muirhead Road, was taken to ParkView and was in stable condition, a hospital spokesman said.

Warren County Deputy Jerry Walker said the hill’s being muddy probably caused the tractor to slip.

Walker said Muirhead had cuts and bruises on his abdomen.

As sheets of rain fell through much of the day, about 10 wrecks were reported in the city and county, and two trees were down, an E911 spokesman said.

The National Weather Service reported at about 10 p.m. that about 1.06 inches of rain fell in Warren County and forecast more of the same for today and Monday.

The band of storms also caused about 650 Entergy customers in Warren and Claiborne counties to lose electricity, Entergy spokesman Cheryl Comans said. Entergy crews were working through the night and expected to restore all service soon after midnight, she said.