NBC Philadelphia, Cydney Long
Lightning struck a New Jersey family twice. Last week, Stephen Rooney died from a lightning bolt surge at a family picnic. 48 years ago, his father died when he was struck by lightning while fishing.
A Hammonton, New Jersey man is dead after lightning struck so close to him that it sent a surge of electricity through his body.
Before Stephen Rooney, 54, walked away from his wife, family and friends at a barbecue on the Sunday he was struck. He'd just said, after seeing lightning in the sky, "Don't worry guys, lightning never strikes twice."
That line is much more than a cliché in the Rooney family. Stephen's father also died after being struck by lightning 48 years ago while he was fishing in Fortescue, N.J. Stephen was just five years old.
According to his family, Rooney was with his cousin Scott Digeralamo last Sunday when a bolt of lightning hit the ground where they were standing. The men had stepped away from the barbecue -- right by a tree -- to smoke a cigar when they were hit , according to police .
Digeralamo survived the strike. Rooney died five days later. His daughters are setting up a fund for him at St. Joseph's High School, which they all attended.. They are hoping to have an athletic field named after Rooney.