Wants to Raise Awareness for Lightning Safety

Man Survives Weekend Lightning Strike

by Wes Mayer wesley@newnan.com

alt

Sean O'Connor holds the leather boot he was wearing when he was struck by lightning Saturday. The lightning burned through the leather of the boot, hitting the titanium at the toe before entering O'Connor's body and throwing him across the yard.


A Newnan man is lucky to be alive after he was directly struck by lightning over the weekend.

Around 2 p.m. Saturday, Sean O’Connor was at his home on Brittain Way doing some yard work when he said he heard a loud crash. The next thing he knew, he was lying on the other side of his driveway with blood in his mouth, a painful headache and he was no longer wearing his boots.

“I didn’t feel the sensation of being shocked or being thrown,” O’Connor said. “All the pain was in my head. The only thing I could compare it to was being hit by a tree.”

O’Connor said he then saw his two leather boots on the ground over where he was standing a few minutes before, and one boot was actually smoldering and smoking. He then looked up, saw a storm was rolling in and finally realized he was actually struck by lightning.

“I had no idea you could be stuck by a storm that was so far off, you didn’t even know it was there,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor said he actually drove himself to the hospital – after his wife forced him to go, and he ended up staying overnight. In the hospital, doctors found his heart rate had slowed to 40 beats per minute; they also found he had low potassium and he was continuously given fluids for 24 hours to help prevent kidney failure. O’Connor was released the next day, and except for muscle spasms in his back he is otherwise in good health.

Now, O’Connor hopes his story will help raise awareness for the dangers of lightning and the safety precautions everyone should take to avoid being struck. Ironically, June 22-28 is the National Weather Service’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

For more on O’Connor’s story and safety tips to avoid lightning strikes, look in Wednesday’s print and digital editions of The Newnan Times-Herald.



More Local

Coweta County Commissioners

Update: Lake Redwine decision postponed until April 21

Update: The decision on the Lake Redwine exemption request has been postponed until the April 21 commission meeting.  The original sto ... Read More


Holy Week

Palms wave as Christians begin journey

Palms branches waved, and people walked in procession to recall the biblical account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Sunday was Palm S ... Read More


Grantville approves ‘Rings’ filming

On Monday, the Grantville City Council unanimously approved a motion to allow filming for a new motion picture in April. “Rings,&rdquo ... Read More


Defendants suspected gang members

Trial opens in robbery, shooting of drug dealer

The trial of two men suspected of acting together to attempt a robbery that ended in a shooting last year began on Tuesday. Taurean Ka&rsquo ... Read More


Unruly customer grapples with police

A man was arrested Monday when he began fighting with Newnan police officers, kicking and punching two officers in the head, after causing a ... Read More

Severe weather hits Coweta

One inch sized hail pummeled areas of Coweta County on Tuesday evening. A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued by the National Weather ... Read More