Michael Gulledge was playing baseball on a field in the Ruby community in Chesterfield County when the lightning hit him around 7:20 p.m.
SLIDESHOW: Man, 26, Struck And Killed By Lightning
Sandy Melton, a friend of Gulledge, said he was on the field, standing near a fence, when the lightning bolt struck.
"It was like someone throwing a firecracker on the ground," Melton said. "It just lit up the day."
The lightning strike hit Gulledge on the pitcher's mound. A 10-year-old boy who was on the home plate was also struck.
Melton said paramedics told him lightning jumped from the fence to the pitcher's mound to home plate. He and another man were thrown to the ground but got back up.
"There was Michael, lying on the ground," Melton said.
He said he still didn't suspect that his friend suffered a fatal blow.
"I thought he was just joking around. I was telling him to get up," Melton said.
But when Gulledge didn't, Melton called 911. Gulledge and the 10-year-old were then rushed to the hospital. The child was later released.
Melton said he thought Gulledge, who has a 3-year-old daughter, would go home, too.
"(They) said he was breathing on his own at that time," Melton said. "Then he came back in and said they he lost him. There wasn't nothing they could do for him."
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