Men survive close encounter with lightning, share story

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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CAPE VINCENT, New York (WWNY) - It was an unforgettable, unimaginable experience for 3 local guys: a close encounter with lightning. It’s amazing that they are okay. Plus, they spoke with us because they want to share with you just how powerful lightning is.

“Someone just threw dynamite right in front of our face,” said Nathan Hall.

That’s how Hall remembers the lightning strike on Sunday in Cape Vincent. Hall, his father, Steven, and their friend, Ryan Shanahan, were working on the hitch of a camper for about an hour.

Nathan was holding a wrench up against the metal hitch when the lightning struck nearby. He says he blacked out.

“Last I remembered, I was laying four-foot away from the camper on the ground just shaking. I couldn’t feel my arms or my legs,” he said.

Ryan was holding an impact gun. He says he never blacked out, but felt paralyzed.

“My whole body just stood straight up and down, like on my tip toes. I had no control over my muscles or anything,” he said.

Steven didn’t feel the strike because he says he wasn’t holding any tools. He saw the whole thing happen and says the outlook wasn’t good.

“I didn’t know if they were going to make it or not because it was just like they dropped, they just dropped and that’s where they were,” he said.

Steven says ambulances arrived on scene about 15 minutes later. Nathan and Ryan say they started to feel better shortly after. They were taken to Samaritan Medical Center as a precaution.

A couple days later, you can still see some of the scars, like a little red mark on Ryan’s hand, and on the tips of Ryan’s shoes.

“So here on the sneakers, you can kind of see where it exited,” said Ryan.

Both men say they feel lucky to be alive.

“It could have ended up way worse than it actually was,” said Nathan.

Nathan and Ryan both work for Steven’s contracting company. All three say they have worked outside in thunder and lightning countless times.

But, now they say they’re going to think twice before doing it again.

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