Missouri Officer Hit by Lightning Dies

RiversidePoliceOfficer300
Officer Jefferson

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A 31-year-old police officer who was struck by lightning while helping after the Joplin tornado has died.

Riverside Police Chief Greg Mills says 31-year-old officer Jefferson "Jeff" Taylor died Friday at a Springfield hospital, where he had been a patient since he was hit by lightning the day after the May 22 tornado.

Mills says Taylor, who was one of a dozen emergency responders from the Kansas City suburb who volunteered to go to Joplin. He says Taylor was the first Riverside officer ever to die in the line of duty.

Taylor had undergone successful skin graft surgery and was being treated for other complications when he died.

He joined the Riverside department in 2005 and was the Officer of the Year in 2008.

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