Jump to content
  • Custom Search


Osco

Hit by Lightening at 60 mph

Recommended Posts

I was throttle off dumping speed approaching a heavy rain cell on the Florida Turnpike. As I passed 60 I got hit.

Felt like someone rear ended me and at the same time Hit me in the back with a baseball bat. The van shot forward suddenly with a rather extreme G-force load on me.

Wipers stopped mid windshield, most but not all of the dash lights were out but I was, 'Dead Stick' engine off and not coming back. My Chest hurt, I was bleeding out of my mouth but felt nothing else. The Old saying, 'Feels like an elephant sitting on your chest',, It's true. I drifted out of the travel lanes and did not get hit due to a smart Tractor Trailer driver behind me, He straddled the center line of the two lanes and kept traffic behind him and away from me. I could not see, Very heavy sheet rain and no wipers. I got out of the travel lanes and onto the paved shoulder, I could see the edge of the pavement, I was successfully out of the travel lanes so I slowly came to a stop.

4 way flashers were working. On the Instrument cluster every single warning/trouble light was on, My cell phone had powered off, I restarted the phone and I hooked up the charger, I had 12 volts at the power outlet. My left hand was up next to the glass on the door jam, I was stretching when the hit came, My hand was burning. In the center of my palm I had two blisters, one shallow and the other deep. It was the entry point, must have come off the glass as It was damp on the Inside.

I had chipped a tooth,, another dentist bill I am sure, The blood In my mouth was that, I bit myself. Remember the ARMY commercials, 'Be All You Can Be', well that was the wrecker driver,

He locked my keys in the van, 4 ways flashing and park lights on. The Two hour ride to my Local Ford dealer with the Idiot wrecker driver with bald front tires In the rain  was stressful. He slid up behind more than one car, once pointing to the grass, a real low IQ person driving a truck,, Yep, This Is the Stupid Virus that's Infecting so many these days.

Dropped the Transit at the dealer, keys on the drop box, It's dead..

The State Trooper that showed up said my sudden G force, my van surging forward at an extreme rate for just a second was most likely the vehicle getting sucked into the void, the vacuum of the space where the bolt removed the air, the thunder clap Is the air rushing back Into that space as you all should know. Seems I got pulled into that space.

My Van and I were In the middle of a massive electrical field, At the very least my computer is fried, at the worst, wiring damage and a totaled vehicle.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Osco
bad speeling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like the opening scene to a movie. Are you insured against natural forces?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sure does. Glad is was not worse.  Looking forward to the rest of the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll update,, I just noticed under my avatar,,

Gender declined,,LoL

Age group declined,,hahaha too funny, I musta missed those details,,, :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the correct pronoun for gender decliners?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok an Update.

Insurance adjuster made It to Ford Tuesday, Estimated repair is $4,000 and I should get It back mid week next week.

They found the entry point, a small 1/4" size spot just above the rear Left tail light assembly.

This spot was polished bare metal, no primer, nothing, It was as If the metal had been buffed with wet sand paper and polished with a jeweler's polish, smooth to the extreme. the paint, that was very odd. It was burned in a dime size circle with a yellow/gold ring that faded to white.

Parts to replace, ball park costs for each. have not seen the spec sheet.

Main computer,$800. Air bag controller,$240.. Anti lock brake controller $700... Main fuse box $170.... Tire pressure monitoring system $200 ,, did not remember the cost. body work,, who knows, the rest Is Labor. The wiring harness was undamaged.

The claim will remain open, so even two, three years from now,, no set end, If I have problems ford will bill the Insurance company direct up to the current 50% value of the vehicle and over that It gets totaled out..

The old formula for estimating repair cost when dealers deal with Insurance companies is in the same ball park as 30 years ago..

Add up the cost of parts, double that number and you should be near the total repair cost labor Included.,,This still holds true....

 

As for me, I took the week off, and prolly the first half of next week, my mouth Is still sore and healing, I Bit my Inner lip pretty bad.

Joints are fine now, except for neck and left shoulder, elbow and wrist,,tender.

I should be healed up about the time my Droid comes back online,,Imagine that ! :P

 

Edited by Osco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So much for the statement being in a vehicle in a lighting storm is safe because you are insulated from the ground by the tires!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always heard that the metal frame provided a sort of safety cage for the bulk of the power to pass around you to the ground.  The power in a Lightning bolt is tremendous and unpredictable.  It is very good that Osco ended up with a Good roll of the dice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, 103west43rd said:

So much for the statement being in a vehicle in a lighting storm is safe because you are insulated from the ground by the tires!

About that,, To the bolt, my tires are only 1/2 Inch of rubber and no way that's Insulation enough..

1/2 Inch you ask ? but tires are five or six Inches tall you say !!...... Nope, steel belted radials,,, steel belts, ah ha ! 'Light Bulb'..

Remember, I simply got In the way, the bulk of the current traveled through the body and chassis to reach the sky from the ground.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Point!  If the voltage is high enough to arc from the sky to the ground, Then 1/2 inch, 6 inches or a mile     probably  won't be enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You sure it's steel belted? Most today's passenger car tires are made with polyester ply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also thought about the rain flowing down the van to the road and the rain on the road being splashed up to the van. How about that for a path to ground?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has no significance. The scale of forces the lightning appears at is so vast that a car or a telephone pole or anything of "our" scale does not prevent or enforce it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey This says it all!!  This is from National Geographic

National Gregraphic.png

Edited by G B L

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The minor distance of standoff the tires provide is pretty much a mute point when dealing with that much electricity. I may have to dig up have my yard to find a bad line after tree got nailed last spring and now I have intermittent voltage issues. Strike twenty foot from bedroom window and glad it did not enter house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@osco - thanks for sharing your experience. what a story, amazing!!

glad you are on the mend and your TC will be driveable again.

I think you used up a few coupons surviving this force of nature. This is a case of being unlucky and lucky at the same time. Go figure.

I assume no one wants to carpool with you any more ;)

please keep us posted on how the repairs go. stay well!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Possible update soon to follow,, Today the Power control Unit,,'puter Is suppose to come in..

This length of time waiting for one was typical Ford told me, The Service guy will call me at the end of the day,, It could possibly be ready. He said once It's Installed they had to program it and then with that In they can test all the other Gizmo's. He said all the other things they have seen burn out before would be In stock locally...

I have really REALLY enjoyed this month off work, But I don't think I want another month off. 

I'll keep ya'all up to date...

Edited by Osco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The obvious issues are immediately diagnosed.  I wonder what you'll find when you actually start driving it.  Will your radio be stuck on a Spanish language religious station?  Will your left flasher blink when you signal right?  Will the engine cut out when you're standing on the brakes and stopped at a light?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When they program your computer this is an opportunity to add all the"soft" options like daytime running lamps, remote window control etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my Droid back :D

$6400,, my out of pocket was  $500. Road Hazard.. It was In the shop for 11 weeks and half that was waiting for back ordered parts I was told.

So, what did Ford replace ?

Everything and I mean Everything, even stuff Inside the Transmission. It runs fine. what else can I say.

Only glitch, they forgot to re-Install that big fiberboard lower chassis cover under the engine, you know the one we have to unscrew and swing out of the way to change the oil.

Was told It's there to protect a few things from rocks and for sound damping and for aerodynamics. A new one Is being ordered free of course as they lost the old one LoL

On the Interstate I do notice a little bit more cabin noise So It will go back on.

I found a blown left rear shock but since I have 70 k miles the Insurance won't replace them both for free. was not blown before the lightening strike. Funny, Its the one directly below the lightening exit point on the body.

I'm happy, got to drive my Mustang a bunch while the Droid was In the shop..

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you should spend more time in that Mustang.  I have a neglected Honda.  I should drive that more.  It's a '99, and I'm finally thinking about upgrading the head unit because I want to watch movies in the car while I'm in traffic.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×