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Depositions reveal absences of coaches, detector on field in Lee County football player's lightning death

May 15, 2013
Lawsuit update on 11-year-old boy's lightning stri...
Lawsuit update on 11-year-old boy's lightning stri...: On May 15 depositions came out in the Jesse Watlington lawsuit. He was struck by lightning in 2012 during football practice and later died. His parents sued the school and affiliated church. Narrator: Dan DeLuca. Video by David Plazas/
Jesse Watlington


Videos: Watlington lightning death aftermath

Southwest Florida Christian Academy’s lightning detector was still inside the school at the time 11-year-old middle school football player Jesse Watlington was struck by lightning last October. And no coaches were on the practice field with Watlington or his teammates when it happened.

Those details emerged from the depositions of six football coaches taken in April in the multimillion lawsuit Watlington’s parents filed against the school and its affiliated church, McGregor Baptist.

The News-Press obtained nearly 600 pages of testimony from its partner WINK News earlier today.

The lawsuit, filed last November, six weeks after Watlington died in a Tampa hospital after being removed from life support, claims there were dark storm clouds in the area when Watlington and his teammates were told to go out on the practice field and that it wasn’t until five to eight minutes after he was struck that a school staff member began performing CPR.

Charles Watlington, Jesse’s father, said he filed the suit because he wanted the facts to come out and to ensure his son did not die in vain.

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