Florida man struck by lightning
while using cell phone
June 21, 2007
Montverde, Florida-- A Lake County
man was critically injured when he was struck by lighting while
standing in the garage of his home while using his cell phone.
Trevor Duncan, 19-years-old, was talking
on his cell phone to his brother when lightning struck him during
Duncan watched the rain pouring down
through his open garage door at 15218 Arabian Way, when two lightning
bolts shot into the garage and exploded in front of him.
"Right after the light faded from that explosion I started
feeling by body go haywire," Duncan said in a telephone interview.
Chip Chenoweth of Lake-Sumter Emergency
Medical Services said Duncan was unconscious when emergency responders
arrived. Paramedics rushed Duncan to South Lake Hospital in Clermont,
but he was later transported to Orlando Regional.
Duncan is one of more than 40 people
injured each year by lightning in Florida. State wide lightning
strikes kill about eight to ten people a year. Lightning kills an
average of 66 people in the United States each year.
Russell Henes, a Tampa-based meteorologist
with the National Weather Service, said the corridor between Orlando
and Tampa is a hot spot for lightning activity.
"In the summertime, we are pretty much a thunderstorm laboratory,"
People should avoid using cell phones
and computers while inside during thunderstorms and for the periods
immediately before and after storms.
Henes said most people get struck just
before a storm begins when it is not yet raining, or when they go
outside too soon after the rain is over.
Getting struck by lightning can lead
to cardiac arrest, burns and nerve damage.
Duncan is recovering but remains in critical condition at the Orlando
Regional Medical Center's burn-trauma unit.
"It was the most excruciating
pain you could ever feel," Duncan said.