Philadelphia PGA pro killed in storm after tree crashes into clubhouse

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Justin Riegel, the head professional at Philmont Country Club, was expecting his first child with his girlfriend later this month. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Justin Riegel, the head professional at Philmont Country Club, was expecting his first child with his girlfriend later this month. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

A PGA pro died this week at his course in Philadelphia after a tree fell onto the pro shop and cart barn during a storm, according to Golf Digest

Justin Riegel, the head professional at Philmont Country Club just north of Philadelphia, was helping bring carts in from the rain when a thunderstorm knocked down a tree into the buildings, killing him. He was 38. 

“The storm blew in and everyone was rushing in,” Kelli Patrick, an employee at the course, told ABC 6, “and before we knew it a tree fell.

Riegel, per ABC 6, was one of four people killed during the storm. Two others were killed when trees were knocked down and landed on their respective cars, and the fourth was killed in a fire after a power line went down.

Riegel joined the golf course as its head pro last year, and recently was promoted to director of golf there, according to Golf Digest. He’s held several assistant pro jobs before he was named the head professional for the first time at French Creek Golf Club in Elverson, Pennsylvania, in 2015. 

His girlfriend, per the report, is due to give birth to their first son later this month, too. 

“Justin was one the most caring individuals you could ever come across,” a GoFundMe page set up to help his family read, in part. “He was that guy who would call just to see how you’re doing and make sure everything was great in your life ... Unfortunately after a horrific accident at work on Wednesday he will never have the opportunity to meet his son. 

“Justin was not just a fantastic golf professional, but he was a special person to everyone he came in contact with.”

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