Truck totaled during Florida storm after lightning 'blew the windshield out'

A truck was totaled when a lightning bolt punched through the windshield.

The homeowner was safe inside his Florida home during a severe thunderstorm on July 31. He heard a loud boom in his driveway and saw his truck on fire. The surge from the strike also fried his garage door opener, but thankfully his house is still standing.

"I heard a horrendous crash. ‘Bang!’" recalled Edward Osborne who said he has seen some horrific storms in the community.

When he saw his truck, plastic was melting away, and there was a gaping hole in the driver’s side windshield.

"As far as the damage to the vehicle, it was pretty extensive," he added. "I mean, it blew the windshield out basically and set fire to the upholstery inside, melted the dashboard."


His truck was totaled following the strike. Thankfully, lightning experts said damage like this is rare, but cars are at risk of being struck during a storm.

PHOTO: Lightning strike, rainbow and sunbeam all captured at once

"Typically, it will be like the internal electronics are fried. You might have a window blowout. You likely will lose a couple tires," said Danielle Nagele who’s a Severe Weather Program Manager for The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

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Nagele said cars do offer some protection if you’re driving through a thunderstorm, but getting to a safe, indoor environment is your best option. 

"It’s actually the fact that it’s a metal cage that keeps you somewhat protected," she added, saying it’s not the rubber on tires that protects cars from being hit. 

She said that’s a common myth. Nagele said being indoors, away from windows and electrical outlets, is the safest place to be. This homeowner is thankful he wasn’t in the driver’s seat during this storm.

"There’s nothing you can do. I mean, if it hits you. It hits you," he concluded.

AAA said drivers in Florida should have comprehensive coverage on their vehicles to protect from lightning strike damage. Take pictures of the damage and document the weather conditions at the time if your vehicle is struck during a storm.