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Colorado Motorcyclist Dies After Being
Struck by Lightning

June 22, 2006

A 46-year-old motorcyclist was struck by lightning and killed while riding in five o'clock rush-hour traffic between Denver and Boulder, police said.

Gary Missi, of Longmont, Colorado was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses reported seeing a flash shortly before the motorcyclist struck the center divider on U.S. Highway 36, Wednesday afternoon, said Tim Read, police spokesman.

The lightning blasted a 4-inch-deep hole in the highway and send chunks of asphalt flying across the highway, however, no other injuries were reported.

It is unknown if Missi was killed by the lightning strike or by the crash that followed. A Coroner's investigation is under way.

Police said that Missi's bike was not badly damaged and that he had injuries consistent with a lighting strike. Missi was wearing a helmet. An autopsy is pending.

State officials said that there were more than 2,000 lightning strikes recorded in the state on Wednesday. The incident occurred during a brief but very powerful thunderstorm at about 5:12 p.m.



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