Tennessee father of two Darrell Hoskins, 40, went out to mow his mother’s lawn on July 14 when it started sprinkling.

According to WMC, Darrell was wearing headphones as he finished up the last section of grass and likely didn’t hear thunder starting to rumble overhead.

And as he rode near a tree, tragedy struck. 

Lightening hit the tree and then bounced off of the unsuspecting father. His brother, Ken Hoskins, told WMC:

“So it just bounced off and got him in the back of the head. I mean he didn’t even know it was coming.”

The lightening strike killed Darrell instantly, said his family.


His 8-year-old daughter and niece were the first to discover his body. The niece’s mother wrote on GoFundMe:

The sad thing is my daughter and his eight-year-old daughter are the ones who found him so you can only imagine what them two little girls are going through right now…

The children attempted to use Darrell’s phone to contact police, but it had been destroyed by the lightening. They ran several houses down until they were able to find a neighbor for help. 

Barbara Steward, Darrell’s aunt, told WREG that the incident was a “freak accident.” She said:

“They said it was a small cloud that just popped up overhead. Just a couple pops of lightning and that was it.”

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), 15 people have died from lightening strikes in the United States this year.

NWS recommends staying indoors if a lightening storm is nearby, as it’s the safest place to be. Stay away from electrical outlets, plumbing, and phones with cords. 

Steward now has a warning for other’s after her nephew’s tragic death. She said:

“I keep preaching and pounding into people: Don’t take the chance. He was out here finishing up a little patch of grass. A little patch of grass left un-mowed is not worth risking your life.”

Leave a comment

We are excited to announce Dearly has joined forces with Mama’s Uncut. Helping Mom’s across the United States answer questions on life’s big challenges.