Lightning 'completely fries' vacationing family's truck in St. Pete
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - An Indiana family visiting the Tampa Bay area got the shock of a lifetime when their truck was hit by lightning, and it was all captured on camera.
It happened not too far from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on July 1. Michaelle Whalen was riding in the car behind her husband just hoping to capture a few pictures of the storm when instead, she got a lot more than she bargained for.
"He had to actually come back to me and hug me and let me know that, ‘Yes, I’m OK, yes, the kids are OK,'" Whalen told FOX 13. "It was terrifying, but that God had his hand on my family."
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Thankfully, no one was injured, but the family's prized pickup truck was "completely fried," they said.
"I've always wanted a Dodge Ram since I was a little kid," Edward Whalen said. "And I finally was able to get one. And I just made my third car payment and – bam."
Hillsborough County Deputy Kristen Miceli was driving next to the Whalen's truck when the bolt of lightning struck. Her Chevrolet Impala can be seen in the video just to the left, in the center lane.
"It sounded like it was right next to my ear which freaked me out," Miceli said. "I've never heard it that loud before."
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Miceli's car was also damaged in the strike.
"I still watch it every day, and I’m like, there's no way that’s what I got hit with," she said.
As for the Whalens, they say the experience made their trip an unforgettable one.
"It'll be a vacation we'll never forget," Edward Whalen said.