Couple fatally struck by lightning in New York cemetery: media

August 12, 2016 2:48 PM EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A couple in their 30s were struck and killed by lightning while "hanging out" at a historic cemetery in western New York state, according to a media report on Friday.

Richard Garlock, 34, and Jenea Macleod, 32, were in the graveyard in Batavia, a town some 40 miles east of Buffalo, at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, when a thunderous storm passed through the area, CBS reported, citing Batavia police.

A groundskeeper discovered the bodies about 12 hours later.

"There were some injuries and some damage to a sneaker that gives you some indication there may have been a lightning strike in the area," Sergeant Todd Crossett told CBS.

A medical examination of the bodies later revealed injuries consistent with those inflicted by lightning strikes, Crossett said. Garlock and Macleod were apparently spending leisurely time at the cemetery, he said.

"It seems they had just gone to a back part of the cemetery and we're just hanging out there," Crossett told CBS.

Officials with the City of Batavia Police Department and Genesee County coroner's officer were not immediately reachable for comment.

So far this year, 25 people have been struck and killed by lightning in the United States, according to the National Weather Service.

Batavia Cemetery is nearly 200 years old. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

The cemetery was vandalized in May, when about 70 headstones, some dating to the early 19th century, were broken or pushed over, the Historic Batavia Cemetery Association said in a statement.

(Reporting by Linda So; Writing by Laila Kearney; Editing by Leslie Adler)



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