Killed By Lightning
Rudolph Coop Stricken Dead On Saturday
He Was Only a Few Yards From His Home at Port Monmouth When the Fatal Stroke Occurred-His Father’s Escape
Rudolph Coop, son of Henry Coop of Port Monmouth, was struck and instantly killed by lightning last Friday while crossing a strip of salt meadow not more than a hundred yards from his home. He was nineteen years old and was a waterman by occupation. His full name is David Harry Rudolph Coop, but Rudolph was the name by which he was familiarly known.
The Coop family live along the public road at Port Monmouth between Luke Melee’s hotel and Charles Tilton’s store, only a short distance from the shore. Besides Rudolph, Mr. and Mrs. Coop have another son, Henry. When the storm came up on Friday afternoon Henry was out on the bay in his boat. Before the storm reached its height he made a landing at a fish factory some distance above his home. From the house Rudolph saw his brother land at the fish factory and as soon as the rain had ceased he said that he would go to where his brother had landed and help him get down the shore with his boat. From the house to the shore a path leads across a strip of salt meadow. Rudolph had gone about one hundred yards on this path when there was a blinding flash of lightning. When it was over neighbors of the Coops saw Rudolph’s body lying on the path with smoke rising from his clothing.
The first person who reached the spot found the young man dead The electric current had apparently first struck him in the mouth at exactly the spot where he had held a cigarette between his teeth. His chin, neck and breast were terribly burned and the clothing was burned about the upper part of his body. He wore a soft felt hat and the front half of this was torn completely away. The electric current left no mark on his head or face above his mouth.
The young man’s father left the house for the shore at about the same time that his son did, but he took a more round-about route than the path leading across the meadow. He first started to follow his son but changed his mind after going a few steps. Had he continued on he would have been a few yards behind his son when he was killed.
Coroner Tetley of Red Bank, who was at Atlantic Highlands at the time of the accident on business connected with his office, was communicated with at the latter place. He went at once to Belford, but an inquest was not deemed necessary.
Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, August 22, 1900