helmet lightning strike

Biker Survives Being Struck by Lightning

Michael LaDue was on the I-5 interstate near Chehalis Washington Thursday Sept 5th when he was hit by a bolt from out of the sky, literally.    Police reports say around 9:30 am,  LaDue riding in a heavy rain when he was struck in the helmet by lightning.  A couple who was driving behind him when they heard a boom and saw Ladue’s helmet “light up” and thought at first their eyes fooled them, until they saw him slump over and move onto the shoulder of the freeway.  That’s whey they pulled up to help.  They reported LaDue asked, “Why am I stopped here?”

helmet lightning strike

Photo from KIRO TV.

They told the 59-year-old he’d been struck by lightning and offered to help.  Ladue decided to ride to the next exit to a gas station where he pulled off his helmet and discovered the hair on one side of his head singed off and his ears burnt around the edges.   The clerk at the gas station, Brandi Abrego,  reported LaDue said he was “really hot” and “when he grabbed my hand, he was really, really hot to the touch.”

The padding inside  LaDue’s helmet was scorched and the outside showed a mark where the lightning struck and his bike shows burn marks near the antenna.

LaDue was taken to Harborview Medical Center where he was treated and released.

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