Michelle Whalen captured a jaw-dropping video of a lightning bolt that hit her husband’s truck and damaged a nearby sheriff’s car on Interstate 75 in the Tampa, Florida, area.
The lightning current hit the frame of the vehicle, which acted like a “faraday cage” around Whalen’s husband and children. The Washington Post reported that everyone in the car was unharmed because of the current going around the steel frame.
United Press International reported that Whalen was taking a video of the rainstorm on July 1 when she recorded the moment a bolt of lightning hit the truck her husband, Edward Whalen, was driving.
“It was pretty wild. After everything was done, my son said we needed to check ourselves in a couple of days for superpowers,” Edward Whalen said.
Hillsborough County deputy Kristen Miceli was driving next to Whalen’s truck when the lightning struck.
“It sounded like when you hear loud thunder but ... it was right next to my ear which freaked me out because I’ve never heard it that loud before,” Miceli told WFLA-TV.
Lightning scientist Chris Vagasky tweeted that the lightning bolt appeared to be a “4 stroke lightning flash” with the final stroke being the one that possibly had the continuing current.
“When lightning strikes it sends thousands of amps of current and extreme heat into an object in just microseconds, causing explosive expansion,” Vagasky said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 40 million lightning strikes hit the ground in the United States each year but the odds of a person being struck in a given year are less than one in a million.
Almost 90% of all lightning strike victims survive and the odds of being struck multiple times are even less according to the CDC.