Local News

Woman's car crippled after being struck by lightning

Woman's car crippled after being struck by lightning

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - A woman's car was struck by lightning Wednesday afternoon, sending her to the hospital with injuries suffered from her airbags.

It happened on Hwy 115 near Fort Carson's Gate 6.  Firefighters said lightning struck the car, causing the electrical systems to fail and turning off the engine. The driver couldn't steer or brake and her airbags deployed.  She was able to pull the emergency brake to get the car to stop, according to crews on scene and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, your car generally protects you from being electrocuted by lightning if the cabin is enclosed because currents are carried mostly on the outside of conducting objects.

The NLSI says if you're in a car, make sure you are not touching metallic objects referenced to the outside of the car, including your car radio and gear shifts.

Contrary to popular belief, rubber tires do not protect your vehicle from being struck by lightning. Other factors contribute to whether or not your car is zapped, including how wet it is and what the vehicle is made of.

Dale Kurtz with Courtesy Automotive in Colorado Springs said he was shocked to hear about the incident on Hwy 115.

"Absolutely surprised," he said.  "We have more circumstances where people hook up their battery wrong and that causes electrical problems more so than lightning strikes."

Kurtz said that lightning could carry through the whole wiring harness of your car and anything made of metal.

"I've never heard of it deploying in an airbag, but it makes sense because it is static electricity that is in some point in time going to discharge those airbags," Kurtz said.

Reported damage to vehicles includes pitting, arcing and burning on both exterior and interior places, according to the NLSI.

comments powered by Disqus

Must See Videos

  • Back in time: One of the worst days in Thunderbird history
  • One arrested in deadly shooting in Pueblo
  • Police arrest suspect in Thursday shooting in Colorado Springs
  • Former Fountain Valley employee accused of smoke bomb appears in court