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Old 12-23-2014, 06:03 AM   #1
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Lightning strikes

Shortly after attending the Packer/Bucs football game in Tampa Bay, our toad was struck by lightning. We were scampering to get out of the rain and were about 20 yards from the car, when we came upon people laying on the ground. The large parking lot had 1000s of people in it. After seeing the crowd gathered around the injured, I looked up to see my Lincoln MKX a few feet away with its lights flashing. I got in to start it and no luck. There was black chunks all over the roof I thought were blacktop. Turned out to be my sunroof trim and glass. The safety glass was shattered and cracked with rain coming in. The little roof antenna had disappeared. The injured were taken by ambulance to the hospital. I believe one is still in critical condition but the rest treated and released from debri and rocks flying.
Soon we were surrounded by tv cameras and reporters from the stadium. (lots of stupid questions) The fireman and police thought that the two tow bar connecting rods protruding from the toad acted like grounding rods and caused the lightning to disperse to the ground injuring the people near by. Sounds logical but I am not a physicist.
We are now without a car and two hours south of our RV park. Tow truck could not get to us because all traffic from game have to exit before entrance roads are opened. Five hours later we got back with a rental car.
We are blessed to not have been a half minute quicker with our hands on the door latches !!!
I am waiting for the mechanics to tell me if the car is totaled due to computers onboard or fixable. Either way, being Christmas week, it could be a long wait for us. Signed LUCKY
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:12 AM   #2
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I had read about that event in the news. You are certainly fortunate you were not injured in that horrific natural event. You have something to be thankful for this holiday season!




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Old 12-23-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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I saw the picture of your Lincoln in the Orlando sentinel. I could see the debris you talk about! Verrry lucky indeed!
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tourdasouth View Post
Shortly after attending the Packer/Bucs football game in Tampa Bay, our toad was struck by lightning. We were scampering to get out of the rain and were about 20 yards from the car, when we came upon people laying on the ground. The large parking lot had 1000s of people in it. After seeing the crowd gathered around the injured, I looked up to see my Lincoln MKX a few feet away with its lights flashing. I got in to start it and no luck. There was black chunks all over the roof I thought were blacktop. Turned out to be my sunroof trim and glass. The safety glass was shattered and cracked with rain coming in. The little roof antenna had disappeared. The injured were taken by ambulance to the hospital. I believe one is still in critical condition but the rest treated and released from debri and rocks flying.
Soon we were surrounded by tv cameras and reporters from the stadium. (lots of stupid questions) The fireman and police thought that the two tow bar connecting rods protruding from the toad acted like grounding rods and caused the lightning to disperse to the ground injuring the people near by. Sounds logical but I am not a physicist.
We are now without a car and two hours south of our RV park. Tow truck could not get to us because all traffic from game have to exit before entrance roads are opened. Five hours later we got back with a rental car.
We are blessed to not have been a half minute quicker with our hands on the door latches !!!
I am waiting for the mechanics to tell me if the car is totaled due to computers onboard or fixable. Either way, being Christmas week, it could be a long wait for us. Signed LUCKY
I'm sure glad nobody was killed! I hope you continue to be lucky and no lawyers start calling!
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:10 PM   #5
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Glad you were not injured. You have plenty to be thankful for and the MKX can be replaced.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:14 PM   #6
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The fireman and police thought that the two tow bar connecting rods protruding from the toad acted like grounding rods and caused the lightning to disperse to the ground injuring the people near by. Sounds logical but I am not a physicist.
Well, I have studied Physics, and electricity, and all I can say to that is BULL.. I am always amazed when folks think 2 to six inches of sidewall rubber will protect you against a lightening bolt that has already jumped thousands of feet of air.

The tow gear made no significant difference... Though it may have made the selection of YOUR car (I doubt it) as opposed to the one parked next to you or in front or behind you, But as for the injured,, No difference at all .

The only thing that MIGHT have prevented injury for them is Brains.. Lightening generally gives you a bit of warning (not always) and if you sense the warning (I am told it is a sensation not unlike walking through spiderwebs) GET OUT OF THERE.
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Old 12-24-2014, 04:37 PM   #7
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You folks sure have some nasty lightning over there.
The top of your vehicle looks a little worse for wear, just as well you weren't closer to it, or in it at the time. Wonder what other damage has been done to it.

Anyway, all the best for Christmas and the New Year.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:54 PM   #8
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What other damage? For starters all the electroincs including the Engine Control Computer, Transmission computer, Radio, any Drive by wire stuff, possibly the alternator, and some controls, all toast, Possible other physical damage as well, the car is a total loss.

And yes, be glad you were not inside, though the metal frame of the car DOES offer some protection (path of least resistance) odds are you'd be toast as well.
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Old 12-24-2014, 07:14 PM   #9
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The only thing that MIGHT have prevented injury for them is Brains.. Lightening generally gives you a bit of warning (not always) and if you sense the warning (I am told it is a sensation not unlike walking through spiderwebs) GET OUT OF THERE.
If you're lucky enough to recognise the static charge building up, crouch down and try to balance on the balls of your feet. Holding your umbrella over your head is a bad idea. Plan on being wet.
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:51 PM   #10
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If you're lucky enough to recognise the static charge building up, crouch down and try to balance on the balls of your feet. Holding your umbrella over your head is a bad idea. Plan on being wet.

I have experienced the hairs on my arms standing straight up and I did crouch down right before the strike about 300 feet away.


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Old 12-25-2014, 07:38 AM   #11
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What other damage? For starters all the electroincs including the Engine Control Computer, Transmission computer, Radio, any Drive by wire stuff, possibly the alternator, and some controls, all toast, Possible other physical damage as well, the car is a total loss.

And yes, be glad you were not inside, though the metal frame of the car DOES offer some protection (path of least resistance) odds are you'd be toast as well.
Wish you were my insurance adjuster. I immediately told insurance I am due to leave the area in RV 10 days after the strike. He inspected the car on Mon. (day after incident) $12,000 body damage. He tells me "lots of fuses blown but we are ordering a computer. Should arrive next week" After arguing on 3 calls with him and the body shop, I emailed his boss with my complaints about the lack of urgency I was experiencing. Ten minutes later the boss calls me and totals out the car. Sure glad of that and did not want to experience all the electrical gremlins down the road.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:51 PM   #12
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Good to hear that someone at your insurance company has some common sense, and decided to write your car off. I could see that trying to repair it would end up being a very expensive exercise and there would probably be more issues down the track.

Hope you don't lose too much buying a replacement.
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:55 PM   #13
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....... Lightening generally gives you a bit of warning (not always) and if you sense the warning (I am told it is a sensation not unlike walking through spiderwebs) GET OUT OF THERE.

Like Microsoft Tech Support-- accurate but useless!

When you feel the pricklies start, you're in the circle of probability for the impending Ground - Cloud discharge. That's all you know. Circle of probability. GET OUT OF THERE!!

RUN!! WHICH WAY ?? ;-)
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