John Jones was literally knocked out of his Crocs after taking a direct hit from a stray bolt of lightning Friday.

 


John Jones was literally knocked out of his Crocs after taking a direct hit from a stray bolt of lightning Friday.

 

Unlike many victims of lightning strikes, Jones suffered only minor injuries (muscle aches) and was recovering at home Monday.

 

He said he’d agreed to help his father with some yard work Friday afternoon and had checked the weather before picking up the grass trimmer. The only storms in the area were around Thackerville, and they didn’t appear to present an immediate threat.

 

“I had almost finished trimming and was going to Weedeat around a pump house on the south side of the property when I heard a big boom,” he said. “I was on the ground and saw my father coming toward me. The hair on my arms was singed, and my shoes were 15 to 20 feet away from me. I didn’t know where my hat was.”

 

Dickson volunteer firefighter David Conger, who is a basic EMT, was one of the first to respond to the family’s call for help.

 

“I checked him out, and he said he didn’t want to go to the emergency room, but I knew he should go,” Conger said. “He said he hurt all over. When I left, his family said they would take him to the ER.”

 

“They got me straight in,” Jones said. “They gave me some pain medication and ran a lot of tests.”

 

Jones said his doctor determined he had taken a direct hit and that because he was perspiring so profusely, the current had traveled along the outside of his body to the ground. Jones said his excess body weight may have prevented any internal organ damage.

 

Jones’ wife, Rachel, said it was raining in Mannsville when the lightning bolt struck her husband, but Dickson didn’t get a drop of rain that day.

 

Information from the National Weather Service indicates that lightning sometimes strikes miles away from the center of a thunderstorm. At least 10 percent of all lightning occurs without visible clouds in the sky.

 

Rachel said her husband was very, very lucky, and he wryly concurred.

 

“I think I’ll live to Weedeat another day,” Jones said.