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Monday, April 21, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Lake Charles man struck by lightning dies

Last Modified: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 1:38 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A Lake Charles man struck by lightning Friday night died Sunday, his family said.

Cleve Menard, 41, was struck by lightning at Lacassine Wildlife Refuge, his brother Keith Menard said.

Menard is survived by his wife of 18 years, Romona, and three children, Grant, 16; Curstin, 12; and Gabe, 4.

A funeral service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Johnson Funeral Home.

Keith said Cleve, an operator at PPG for 10 years, was a sports fan who had only gotten into fishing in the last three to four months.

It was a pastime he enjoyed with Romona, Menard said.

“As soon as he got his boat, he was hooked,” Menard said. “He ate it up.”

When bad weather rolled in this past Friday, Cleve and his brother-in-law Pete headed for shelter under a bridge, Menard said.

While en route, Pete heard thunder and saw a flash, but did not realize Cleve had been struck, Menard said. Pete turned around and saw Cleve hanging out of the boat with his head in the water.

He pulled him back in and realized Cleve had been struck by lightning, Menard said.

Pete called 911 and began performing CPR on Cleve while driving the boat, Menard said. Pete would steer the boat, then go back to CPR, When they reached the bridge, two firefighters fishing jumped out of their boat and into Cleve and Pete’s to assist.

It took an hour, according to Menard, from the time Cleve was struck by lightning to get him back to land.

Cleve continued to breathe on his own until 10 p.m. Saturday, when he had to be put on a ventilator.

He was pronounced dead around noon Sunday, Menard said.

An account has been established at Chase Bank for donations to help with medical and funeral expenses.

Menard said those who want to donate can do so under the names Romona, Keith or Bryan Menard, using the last four numbers of the account, 9283.

Posted By: Troy On: 5/15/2013

Title:

I'm going to miss you Cleve. You were a great friend!!

Posted By: Angela On: 5/15/2013

Title:

So very sad.

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