Aftershocks – living through a lightning strike

2019-03-02 07:17:07

By Katie Greene THE last thing that Harold Deal remembered was getting out of his truck and starting to walk up the driveway to his house. The 31-year-old electrician from Lawson, Missouri, was keen to get inside out of the heavy rain. Suddenly there was a flash of white light. “It was so bright that I could not see anything at all,” he says. “It was as if I had just stepped into a white cotton ball.” The next thing Deal knew, his wife and neighbours were standing over him. It was about 4.30 am, seven hours since he had pulled into the driveway. Bafflingly, he was slumped against the neighbour’s house, 50 feet away from his truck. Deal was helped back to his driveway, where he found the remainder of his boots: the eyelets with the laces still tied. And from his pocket he pulled out $1.50 in change that had melded into a single coin sculpture. Deal realised he must had hit by lightning. Although the force of the bolt had blasted him into his neighbour’s property, clearing a 6-foot fence on his way, he had few visible marks on his body. It was only months later when he had surgery for the resulting back pain that doctors saw firm evidence of the strike. The lightning had scorched muscle, leaving an internal burn running from his right shoulder down to his left foot. Although Deal’s experience was in 1969,