Report: Crew soccer fan struck by lightning

A general view of Columbus Crew stadium in a severe weather delay before the match between the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas at Crew Stadium.

Greg Bartram/Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Crew’s Major League Soccer game against FC Dallas was postponed Saturday night, with The Columbus Dispatch and other media outlets reporting that a male fan was struck by lightning in the stadium parking lot.

Columbus Fire Department Lt. Thad Turano told The Associated Press that emergency officials transported a victim in cardiac arrest to Ohio State Medical Center. He said that a caller reported at 8 p.m. that a person had been struck by lightning. Turano says the victim’s condition wasn’t available.

The Crew said the game was called off because of "reasons beyond our control" and that a makeup date hadn’t been set. The Crew later said the game was postponed due to an "incident surrounding the inclement weather."

"To all — we are sincerely sorry about tonight’s postponement, but your safety is of the utmost importance," Crew owner Anthony Precourt said on Twitter. "We’ll share more info as we can, but a member of our community was severely injured by the weather. Praying for him."

The game was scheduled to start at 8 p.m. The storm with heavy rain and lightning bursts rolled through about 15 minutes before kickoff. Fans were told to evacuate the stands and head toward the concourses of the double-decked stadium. The game was called at 9:12 p.m.

Crew fan Don Lewis told the Dispatch that he was taking cover during heavy rain in a portable toilet when he said he felt electricity run through the air and then heard someone in the toilet next to him call 911 to report that someone had been hit by lightning.

"All of a sudden it was just a bomb that went off," Lewis told the newspaper. "I knew it was close. The electricity ran through me."

He said he saw a man lying on the ground when he got out of the toilet.

"He was purple and had his shirt ripped off," Lewis said.