Man survives lightning strike caught on camera

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 9:03 AM CDT
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NOTTOWAY COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - It’s important to stay safe and aware of the weather if lightning is in the area.

A Virginia man knows that all too well after a bolt of lightning sent him to the hospital.

It happened just a day after three people were killed and another injured in a lightning strike outside the White House.

“We heard the loud boom, and it was enough to rattle the house pretty much,” Donna Pridemore said.

It’s been a shocking few days for Donna Pridemore and her family.

She said her husband, 52-year-old Bobby Pridemore, was moving cows in a pasture behind his home on Friday evening during what appeared to be a lull in the storm.

“What he was doing should have took five minutes,” she said.

When he went to close a latch to a gate, lightning struck 200 yards away, sending a current down the fence line and knocking him back several feet.

Security footage from the family’s property shows the lightning strike the fence.

Donna Pridemore said he recalled a large ball of light coming at him before knocking him a few feet back.

“He said, but the first thing that comes to his mind was the pain he felt in his side in his arm,” Donna Pridemore said. “He said he truly thought his right arm was gone.”

Bobby Pridemore somehow found the strength in his left hand to answer a call from his daughter and instructed her to call 911.

He then pulled himself up on his four-wheeler. Video shows him racing back to his home, where he was met by emergency crews.

“They start monitoring him and then we realized he has about a 50-cent, about the size of a 50-cent piece, burn on his left hip,” Donna Pridemore said. “His right fingers were burned where he was holding the chain to lock the gate.”

With the current entering his body on his right side and leaving his left, doctors at the hospital said Bobby Pridemore is lucky he didn’t suffer any damage to his heart.

“There were so many other scenarios that this could have went a lot worse,” Donna Pridemore said. “If he had been hit any closer, he probably wouldn’t be here.”

Bobby Pridemore is also a thyroid cancer survivor, and the couple’s daughter Kaitlyn Pridemore suffered a severed aorta during a routine gallbladder surgery back in 2020 and is still in physical therapy.

“Things like this, normally as scary and as hard as they can be, truly, truly bring out the real blessings that you have in life because, yeah, we still have him and we still have her,” Donna Pridemore said.

The family of three is still beating the odds together.

The Pridemores tested their luck Saturday night after neighbors brought them a few Powerball tickets.

“I looked online to see if we were, you know, he happened to win. And they weren’t winners but literally, the first thing that comes to my mind was, we are winners,” Donna Pridemore said.

When the Mega Millions jackpot topped $1 billion last month, the odds of winning were lower than the odds of being struck by lightning.

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