Saturday, September 2, was a very busy time for Brevard County Fire Rescue as a massive electrical storm accompanied by hail worked its way through the area. Brevard County Fire Rescue District Chief Scott Gardiner was quoted as saying, “This time of year the afternoon storms kick up, and it's common to have multiple calls going on at once,” he then added, “but usually not to this extent.” —
While no structural fires resulted, eight trees and a brush fire were reported burning and more than 20 homes were registered struck by lightning. The strikes resulting in structural damage ranging from minor to severe. Normally what will happen is that lightning will strike the roof of a home and ignite the insulation in the attic crawl space. This makes it very important to notify Fire and Rescue even if there is no obvious evidence of a fire after a strike, Gardiner cautioned.
The strangest call received by the authorities as a result of the storm, was a two-vehicle accident reported on I-95 that caused injuries to both drivers involved.
Between mile markers 225 northbound and 220 southbound, close to the State Road 406 exit, a car traveling north was struck by lightning causing its airbags to deploy and the driver to lose control of his vehicle, resulting in a crash.
A motorcyclist traveling south at the same time was not struck, but the impact of the strike on the car literally blew the rider from his bike. Both the motorcyclist and driver received minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital and later released.
According to National Weather Service statistics, the odds of any one person suffering an injury from a lightning strike are 1 in 1,083,000. This places the odds of a double injury resulting from a single strike somewhere in the same neighborhood of winning the Powerball Jackpot solo.
When queried about the legal ramification resulting from a storm of this type, Melbourne personal injury attorney Brad Sinclair had this to say: “The sad part is that it will all come down to how people’s insurance policies were written. Lightning is considered an act of God and in many cases excluded from both auto and home-owner policies.” He continued, “Unless there is a special rider attached [to the policy] it is entirely possible that many people affected by the storm may not have any coverage at all.”
Release ID: 240518