US & Canada

Florida motorcyclist killed by lightning strike

Florida Highway Patrol posted a photo of the shattered helmet Image copyright Florida Highway Patrol
Image caption Florida Highway Patrol posted a photo of the shattered helmet

A North Carolina motorcyclist has died after he was struck by lightning while riding on the I-95 inter-state highway in Florida.

It remains unclear whether the man, who has not been identified, was killed by the lightning bolt or the subsequent crash, state troopers say.

The Florida Highway Patrol posted a photo of the 45-year-old man's helmet, which appeared cracked and burned.

Officials say an off-duty policeman witnessed the lightning strike.

The accident occurred in Ormond Beach, on Florida's Atlantic coast, around 15:00 local time (19:00 GMT).

Florida Highway Patrol Captain Kim Montes said a Virginia State Police trooper who was in the area on holiday, saw a bolt of lightning hit the man's helmet moments before the crash.

Cpt Montes confirmed that the helmet had been shattered, with scorch marks that indicated that it had been hit by lightning.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the man's 2018 Harley Davidson flipped after rolling into the grass median following the strike.

Authorities have not named the motorcyclist, from Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to the US National Weather Service, an average of 49 people are killed by lightning in the US every year.

Only around 10% of strikes are fatal, experts say, but strikes often lead to lifelong injuries.

Image copyright CBS

Since 2016, there have been 10 motorcycle-related lightning deaths according to John Jensenius, a meteorologist with the National Lightning Safety Council.

But he noted that several of those deaths occurred with riders who were not on motorcycles when they were struck.

You may also be interested in:

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionA teenager describes the moment he was struck by lightning in a park in Arizona, USA
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLightning hits the same spot in Texas about 11 times in a row

More on this story