A motorcycle rider from Charlotte was killed Sunday when he was struck by lightning and then crashed on a highway near Orlando, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The power of the lightning strike caused the 45-year-old man’s helmet to crack and burn, according to a tweet from the Highway Patrol.
The motorcycle rider died after crashing on Interstate 95 in Volusia County, the Highway Patrol said. That is about 50 miles from Orlando.
Although the man’s identity has not been made public, it was confirmed he is from Charlotte, WOGX reported.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene just after 2 p.m., the Dayton Beach News-Journal reported.
An off-duty Virginia state trooper witnessed the lightning strike that shattered the helmet and the crash, per WFTV.
It is the nation’s second lightning fatality this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
There have been 10 motorcycle-related lightning deaths across the nation since 2006, said John Jensenius, a lightning expert with NOAA. In some of those cases, the rider had pulled off the road and was standing near the bike when killed, he said.
Among those 10 deaths, NOAA says, was one at the entrance to North Carolina’s Mount Mitchell State Park in July 2016, when Scott Pasour of Gaston County pulled over to put on rain gear and was struck by lightning, the Gaston Gazette reported at the time.
Pasour was a lay minister at Venture Church and owner of Pasour Auto Repair, the Gazette reported.