Friends, fellow lifeguards remember NJ teen killed by lightning

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Friends of Keith Pinto embrace on the beach in Berkeley Township, N.J., on Tuesday Aug. 31, 2021, a day after the 19-year-old lifeguard was killed by lightning there. Pinto of Toms River was among eight people who were hit by lightning Monday afternoon in Berkeley Township. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Friends and fellow lifeguards sat on a Jersey Shore beach and sobbed Tuesday at the spot where a 19-year-old lifeguard was killed by lightning a day earlier.

They hugged each other and cried as flowers piled up at the base of the lifeguard stand where Keith Pinto was killed by lightning Monday afternoon in Berkeley Township.

It was the second on-duty death of a teenage lifeguard in New Jersey in less than two weeks and a stark reminder of just how dangerous the job can be.

Several at the beach Tuesday said it felt unreal that the friend they recently graduated high school with, or worked with on the beach was suddenly gone.

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