A motorcycle rider from Charlotte was killed Sunday when he was struck by lightning and then crashed on a highway near Orlando, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The power of the lightning strike caused the 45-year-old man’s helmet to crack and burn, according to a tweet from the Highway Patrol.
The motorcycle rider died after crashing on Interstate 95 in Volusia County, the Highway Patrol said. That is about 50 miles from Orlando.
Although the man’s identity has not been made public, it was confirmed he is from Charlotte, WOGX reported.
After the North Carolina man was struck in the head by lightning, his motorcycle ran off I-95 and overturned, and he was thrown “some distance,” according to WSOC.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene just after 2 p.m., the Dayton Beach News-Journal reported.
An off-duty Virginia state trooper witnessed the lightning strike that shattered the helmet and the crash, per WFTV.
It is the nation’s second lightning fatality this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
There have been 10 motorcycle-related lightning deaths across the nation since 2006, said John Jensenius, a lightning expert with NOAA. In some of those cases, the rider had pulled off the road and was standing near the bike when killed, he said.
Among those 10 deaths, says NOAA, was one at the entrance to North Carolina’s Mount Mitchel State Park in July 2016, when Scott Pasour of Gaston County pulled over to put on rain gear and was struck by lightning, reported the Gaston Gazette in 2016.
Pasour was a lay minister at Venture Church and owner of Pasour Auto Repair, reported the Gazette.
This is what’s left of a 45 year old man’s helmet after he was struck by lightning, while riding his motorcycle southbound, on I-95 in Volusia County this afternoon. Unfortunately he did not survive the crash. pic.twitter.com/uFklUPY8r1
— FHP Orlando (@FHPOrlando) June 9, 2019
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