A bolt of lightning blasted a chunk of roadway into a truck as it was driving along a Florida highway, injuring two people.
Rescue officials say a married couple was driving down I-10 near Pensacola during a thunderstorm when the lightning struck on Monday morning. A large piece of asphalt then flew into the vehicle’s windshield, completely smashing it and causing the truck to crash.
Miraculously, both people inside survived.
“Both of [the occupants] are going to be OK,” Lindsey Darby, a spokesperson for Walton County Fire Rescue told weather/2021/05/11/florida-lightning-roadway-vehicle/?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook">The Washington Post. “The husband who was driving the vehicle… suffered very minor lacerations. He was transported but released shortly after.”
The woman sustained more significant injuries, Mr Darby said, but is expected to recover as well.
“The wife suffered a little larger and deeper lacerations,” he said. “[They] actually had to... get glass out of her head.”
Photos of the truck after the crash show an enormous hole in its front windshield, and the back windshield is completely shattered. Bits of asphalt can be seen in the truck bed. A headrest in the backseat, where luckily no one was sitting, is visibly bent backwards.
Experts say the blast may have been caused by vaporisation of water in the asphalt when the lightning struck it.
“It could have flashed into steam,” meteorologist Chris Vagasky wrote in a series of tweets about the incident. “That rapid expansion of liquid water into steam can be why trees debark if they are struck by lightning, and it caused damage to other inanimate objects in the past.”
The storm that caused the explosion is now over, but officials cautioned drivers to remain alert.
“Fortunately, most of the bad weather is past us now, but please be careful out there this morning,” Walton County Fire Rescue wrote on Monday. “Slow down and be on the lookout for storm damage and debris in the roadways.”