Man Waiting for Train to Pass
Struck by Lightning
July 10, 2006
Tampa, Florida-- 52-year-old Ray Galusha
was waiting for a train to pass at a railroad crossing along US
41 around 7 p.m. Saturday evening, when he was struck by a lightning
Galusha was heading to his Riverview home located about 1,000 yards
beyond the railroad crossing. While he waited for the train to pass,
he turned off the engine in his Pontiac Sunbird and had his arm
hanging out of the car window when he was struck.
"The first thing when I got shocked,
I tried to take a breath in, and I couldn't breath. I said, damn
that must have killed me, because I couldn't feel anything...just
a tingle of the body," Galusha said.
According to Galusha, the lightning bolt first hit the train's engine.
Then travelled to the bumper of a pickup trucked in front of his
car. The lightning came out of the pickup's trailer hitch ball,
hit his car, then jumped to the Chevrolet Impala behind him, knocking
the woman inside, out of her car.
Galusha received burn marks on both elbows from where the lightning
hit and left his body. He lost his vision and his speech. His tongue
swelled and his muscles tightened so much, that he couldn't take
his hand off the steering wheel. He could barely overcome the numbness.
Knowing how much he needed help, Galusha tried to call 911 but his
cell phone had been fried. Somehow, he made the short distance home,
where family and friends came to his rescue and called paramedics.
Galusha was taken to Tampa General Hospital, and spent the night
in the intensive care unit. He
was later listed in good condition and is expected to make a full
Florida ranks number one in the country for deaths caused by lightning.