Lightning strike kills a student during track meet

Corey Williams
Corey Williams
Lightning strike kills a student during track meet
By: Carly O'Keefe
CARBONDALE, Ill. - A Carbondale student athlete is dead after being struck by lightning Thursday afternoon at a track meet. Corey Williams was an 18-year-old junior at Carbondale Consolidated High School. he was walking toward the ticket booth at the track when lightning struck. Now the school and community are reeling from the loss.
"It's just traumatic. It's the worst thing that the faculty, administrators and student body can imagine happening in the school community," said Carbondale High School Principal Vicky King. "Everybody thought we were going to miss the severe weather and then this pop of lightening hit."
In that split second, the Carbondale High School student body lost one of its own. "Today we were in P.E. playing basketball, and then we had lunch together. That's the last time I saw him, I can't believe I'll never see him again," said William's classmate Chris Ratermann.
Friends say Corey's passion in track and field was the hurdles, and he had high hopes for the season. "All year long all he could talk about is trying to beat the record. He won't get the chance now," said Ratermann.
Classmates remember Corey as a kind-hearted teenager who'll be missed on and off the track. "He was the friendliest person anyone who ever knew him could know. He talked to everybody, and nobody disliked him--he was just the kindest person," Ratermann said.
Carbondale High School has canceled classes Friday; however the school will remain open for students and family to meet with counselors during this difficult time.