Family’s truck struck by lightning, catches fire while driving on Kan. highway

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH/Gray News) - A family was on their way back home after visiting a dying family member when their truck was struck by lightning.

“They say you see the light before you die, and I thought we were all dead,” said John Gillihan, who was driving the truck.

The lightning struck the truck as they drove along I-35, causing it to go airborne. It slid to a stop on the side of the road, and the five members of the Gillihan family got out just in time.

“We felt the burning and immediately it just kept getting stronger and stronger and we’re like we got to get out of the truck now, so we're all jumping out of the truck grabbing our stuff,” Angel Gillihan said. “As soon as we got out it caught on fire, we were just holding each other and grabbing each other because it could’ve been us in that truck not able to get out.”

The family waited in a ditch in the rain for first responders to arrive.

A couple driving by stopped to let the family sit in their car before someone could make the nearly three-hour drive to pick them up.

“Luckily, my daughter-in-law’s mom, she’s a Godsend, she got to us quick and got us home, and we’re all still here,” John Gillihan said.

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