Ride the lightning: Man on motorcycle hit by lightning bolt on I-5

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Man hit by lightning on motorcycle. Photo: LewisCountySirens.com Man hit by lightning on motorcycle. Photo: LewisCountySirens.com

A man on a motorcycle heading north on Interstate 5 in Washington was struck by a bolt of lightning.

Washington State Patrol said it happened at 9:30 a.m. Thursday near Chehalis. The lightning hit the 59-year-old motorcycle rider's helmet.

Police said the man initially pulled off to the shoulder of the freeway in a daze, unsure of what had happened. Witnesses stopped and told him he'd just been hit by lightning.

Firefighters said, at that point, he got back on his bike and kept on riding. The man took Exit 76 into Chehalis, where he stopped at a convenience store and asked for help.

Firefighters said the drivers behind him reported seeing both his helmet and motorcycle light up when the lightning hit him. They said it was a "direct hit" from the lightning strike.

Police and firefighters said the bolt blew out the face shield of his helmet, tore up the interior padding and melted wiring in the helmet and on the motorcycle.

A photo from LewisCountySirens.com shows the motorcycle rider talking to emergency crews after the lightning strike.

The man from Tenino, WA has not been identified. He was taken to the hospital for burns to his ears and neck, according to firefighters. He was treated and released.

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