Man fatally struck by lightning in freak accident while mowing lawn

A Tennessee man mowing his mother’s lawn died Saturday when he was struck by lightning, authorities said.

Darrell Hoskins, of Somerville, was nearly finished mowing his mother’s grass when it began to rain. As Hoskins was reportedly cutting the “last patch of grass,” a lightning bolt hit a nearby tree, arching to Hoskins’ cellphone, which was in his shirt pocket, officials with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department told WMC. He died instantly.

“It’s just a freak accident,” his aunt, Barbara Steward, told WREG. “They said it was a small cloud that just popped up overhead. Just a couple pops of lightning and that was it.”

“It was unreal. I know you use that word all the time, but it was like it wasn’t real,” she added. “Still isn’t.”

One of the man’s two daughters allegedly found his body shortly after, Hoskins’ sister-in-law wrote on a GoFundMe that’s been created to help the family with funeral expenses. 

“She ran three houses over until she found someone home and called 911,” Stephanie Skelton, Hoskins’ cousin, told WMC, referring to Hoskins’ 8-year-old daughter.

“Darrell had the sweetest, gentlest spirit,” Steward said. “Everyone loved him and he loved everybody.”

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