This Day in Weather History ~ May 13th 1986: State Trooper Survives Lightning Strike

Kentucky State Trooper Survives Lightning Strike on I-75

This Day in Weather History ~ May 13th 1986: State Trooper Survives Lightning Strike
Photo by Frankie Lopez / Unsplash

A Kentucky state trooper narrowly escaped death during a lightning strike on May 13th, 1986. Trooper David Satterfield was driving along Interstate 75 in northern Kentucky when a lightning bolt hit his patrol car. The strike seared through the vehicle's bonnet, leaving behind a gaping hole, and knocked Satterfield unconscious. He was swiftly transported to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries by emergency responders.

It was only through sheer luck that Satterfield survived. Lightning strikes, obviously, often result in severe harm or even fatality. Satterfield's extraordinary tale is a reminder that while lightning strikes are infrequent, they are indiscriminate in their targets. We should all be vigilant and understand the perils posed by lightning. During thunderstorms, seek shelter indoors to protect yourself from this force of nature.

Here are a few tips to ensure your safety during a thunderstorm:

  1. Seek shelter indoors: Taking cover within a well-built structure is the most effective means of shielding yourself from lightning.
  2. Find sturdy shelter: If caught outside during a thunderstorm, seek refuge in a sturdy building. Avoid standing beneath trees or near tall objects that may attract lightning.
  3. Assume a crouched position: If stranded in an exposed area, assume a crouched position with your feet together and cover your ears. Minimize your body's contact with the ground.
  4. Don't use electronic devices: Mobile phones and computers can conduct electricity during a storm, so it is best not to use them.
  5. Exercise patience: Once the storm has subsided, wait at least 30 minutes before venturing outdoors.

It is possible to significantly reduce the risks associated with lightning strikes by following these simple safety measures.

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