A terrifying lightning strike “fried” two vehicles traveling on Interstate 75 in Florida, including one driven by a sheriff’s deputy.
It happened around 4 p.m. Friday, July 1, as “an intense thunderstorm” moved into the Sun City Center area, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Sun City Center is about 25 miles southeast of Tampa.
The sheriff’s office shared video showing the bolt first struck a pickup and then continued arcing in the traffic lane as a second vehicle drove directly into it.
The deputy’s vehicle was traveling to the left of the pickup and apparently shared in the electrical charge.
“Her dashboard lights turned on, and then the entire car turned off,” the sheriff’s office reported.
“When she looked in the rearview mirror, she saw smoke. At first, she thought her tire popped, but as she, and other nearby drivers, pulled over she saw this video and the nearby lightning strike and realized it was the lightning that damaged the car.“
The deputy, who was not identified, escaped injury, officials said.
The video was recorded by a passenger in a car behind the pickup, identified as Michaelle May Whalen by Storyful.
Whalen told Fox News the pickup in the video belongs to her husband and it was “completely fried.” The family was returning from vacation when it happened, she told Storyful.
It happened one day after an 11-year-old boy was hit by lightning in the same county, while he stood on the deck of a fishing boat. The boy, identified as Levi Stock, was released from a hospital on July 4, McClatchy News reported.
NOAA reports lightning flashes are typically “about 300 million volts and about 30,000 amps.”
“In comparison, household current is 120 volts and 15 amps,” NOAA says.