Metro-East News

Lightning strikes moving car near New Athens

A lightning strike.
A lightning strike. The Wichita Eagle

Lightning struck a car with a woman and her two daughters inside on Sunday evening, fire department officials said.

The driver was taken to St. Elizabeth's Hospital, complaining of tingling in her arms, said New Athens Fire Chief David Owens. The two girls were not hurt.

"They’re OK, the kids were OK the mother that was driving was ... obviously shook up," he said.

The driver was able to get the vehicle to the side of the road after the 2004 Monte Carlo was struck by lightning while northbound on Illinois 13 between Lenzberg and New Athens, Owens said.

Lightning struck the top corner of the driver's side windshield and melted the glass in about a 4-by-10-inch area, tearing the molding around the windshield too.

"It's pretty bizarre, but it did (happen)," Owens said.

The fire chief said there were pop-up storms in the area at about 7:30 p.m. when emergency services got the call. He said the Illinois State Police were on the scene investigating.

"How many times have you driven down the road in a thunderstorm; everybody's done it. You have a better chance of winning the lottery," than getting struck by lightning, Owens said.