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Lightning bolt hits patrol car, putting Florida deputy in hospital, sheriff says

A sheriff’s deputy was hospitalized after a lightning bolt “fried” his patrol car in the Florida Panhandle, officials said.

The identity of the deputy has not been released, but he is expected to recover, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

It happened Sunday, Aug. 6, as the deputy drove U.S. 331 south of DeFuniak Springs, officials said.

Lightning hit the back of the SUV’s roof, breaking glass and popping off fittings, a photo shows.

“The deputy was transported to Sacred Heart (Hospital) by Walton County Fire Rescue, Florida and his vehicle was inoperable after the strike fried his electrical system,” officials said.

“He is awake and conscious and is expected to be okay.”

The deputy is one of two people injured Sunday in suspected lightning strikes in the county, officials said.

“Deputies responded to a water rescue at Morrison Springs (park) at 11:45 AM for a female who had possibly been struck by lightning while in the water,” the sheriff’s office said.

“CPR was performed by bystanders. The patient was transported by Walton Air Rescue, Florida.”

The identity and condition of the victim has not been released.

Lighting flashes pack “about 300 million volts and about 30,000 Amps,” according to the National Weather Service. “In comparison, household current is 120 Volts and 15 Amps.”

Strikes can cause cardiac arrest, and victims have been known “to have a delayed death a few days later if they are resuscitated,” the NWS reports.

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