A driver in Florida says he’s happy to be alive after his car was struck by lightning on the highway — and it was captured on camera by his wife.
Edward Whalen was driving down I-75 near St. Petersburg on July 1 when a jagged bolt of lightning hit his truck, sending flames and sparks flying.
His wife, Michaelle, who was traveling in the car behind Whalen, had been filming the thunderstorm outside and happened to capture the wild incident on camera.
“You could feel a slight buzz in the car when it hit us, and then my oldest daughter was sitting next to me and she jumped halfway in my lap and screamed,” Whalen told local NBC affiliate WFLA News Channel 8.
Thankfully, nobody was hurt, although Whalen said his truck was “completely fried.”
Whalen added that he and his fellow travelers were “really confused” after the strike and had “bad headaches.”
Lightning strikes usually cause severe damage to cars, according to the National Weather Service, often frying the electrical system, shattering windows and destroying tires.
The NWS says on its website that the “outer metal shell of hard-topped metal vehicles does provide protection to those inside a vehicle with the windows closed.”
However, it’s just a myth that rubber tires offer any protection from lightning strikes, the agency says, as lightning can pass through tires’ steel belts and into the ground.