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12-Year-Old Girl Struck by Lightning


July 24, 2007

Pelion, SC- Brittany Vaughn remembers that the skies were clear when she was hit by a lightning strike. Thunder could be heard in the distance when 12-year-old Brittany ran outside of her home to chain the family dog.

Inside, Brittany's mother, Jennifer Sanders, heard some rumbling thunder and then the sound of lightning striking. Sanders said that she"went running outside. First thing we seen was like a small fire. Smoke going straight up in the sky, then seen her lying face down in the dirt." Sanders continued, "I was screaming at the top of my lungs, screaming her name, shaking her."

The lightning strike knocked Brittany to the ground, however, she doesn't remember much about it. She said that it "seemed like I just fell asleep."

Brittany said, "I was right between the pine trees, I guess it went right through me." She was unconscious for about a minute, waking up a bit confused. She noticed a mark at her ankle and felt a little numb.

The doctors said that the lightning likely exited Brittany's body at her ankle. She feels fine now, except for a minor headache. "Guess I was just lucky!" says Brittany. "Thank the Lord I'm still alive."

Brittany and her mom are extremely grateful. "It was a lesson in life. If I ever think there's a storm coming. I won't let them outside, whether the dog's chained or not."

The National Weather Service stresses that lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from where it's raining. So if you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance.




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