A motorcycle rider survived after being struck by lightning on Interstate 5 in Chehalis this morning.
The incident happened around 9:30 a.m. in the southbound lanes at milepost 76, but the 59-year-old rider kept riding another four miles before meeting up with paramedics, according to Times news partner KING-TV.
A couple who had been driving behind him told Lewis County Sirens, a local crime blog, that they saw the flash and stopped to help.
At first, when Martin Zapalac saw lightning had “lit up” the motorcyclist’s helmet, he wondered if he imagined it, but then he saw the man lean forward and move into to the shoulder of the freeway. The couple went with the rider to an AM/PM off 13th Street, where they met arriving firefighters and paramedics, Lewis County Sirens reported.
A 911 call from a witness said the lightning appeared to have burned the side of the motorcyclist’s head. Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn said the lightning strike blew out the padding inside the helmet.
The rider was taken to Centralia Hospital. His condition was not released, but Finn tweeted that he is “doing well.”