Man recounts being indirectly struck by lightning

By Andrew Wittenberg

COLUMBUS, GA  (WTVM) -  One Columbus man is lucky to be alive after a close encounter with one of Mother Nature's most dangerous threats.

A normal day at work quickly became a terrifying experience for David Mize.

It happened around 8:15 Wednesday morning.

We had seen some lightning and heard some thunder earlier, but this was just real sudden," Mize said.

It wasn't even raining that hard when Mize was heading out to his truck. He grabbed the door handle with his left hand and that's when it happened. "The thunder and the lightning struck and the electricity all at the same time and I fell to my knees and grabbed my arm," Mize said.

Mize was indirectly shocked by a bolt of lightning which hit a nearby structure in the parking lot at Harvey Lumber Company in Columbus and traveled through the vehicle he was in contact with.

Nearby co-workers called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital. Amazingly, there appear to be no visible signs of injury.

"I was a little disoriented for a little bit, my arm and my leg were a little bit sore, but other than that, I'm starting to feel better now," Mize said.

Mize fared better than most who come that close to lightning.

According to the National Weather Service, a lightning strike is the second most deadly weather-related killer in the U.S., ahead of tornados, even hurricanes.

"A lightning bolt can be as hot or hotter than the surface of the sun, some 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So, needless to say, you need to be indoors when it comes to a thunderstorm," Storm Team 9 meteorologist Bruce Lee said.

As for Mize, he considers himself to be lucky. "I'm thinking about playing the lottery this evening," Mize said.

Click here for lightning safety tips.

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