Lightning strikes Naples man’s car on I-75

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
A Naples man’s car was struck by lightning Monday morning on I-75 in Broward County. The strike damaged the car’s antenna and electrical system and left a gouge in the interstate pavement. (Photos courtesy of FHP)

A Naples man’s car was struck by lightning Monday morning on I-75 in Broward County.

This happened as the man was on his way home.

The Florida Highway Patrol said it happened at about 11:20 a.m.

A Nissan Rogue was westbound on I-75 at mile marker 30.5 when it was hit by the lightning strike, which damaged the car’s antenna and electrical system. Ernesto Delhonte wasn’t able to start his car after the lightning strike.

struck antenna
Credit: FHP

The driver says he also felt dizzy after the lightning strike.

Then, he was stranded more than one hundred miles away from home at a McDonald’s in Davie.

This storm nearly cost Delhonte his life. “I saw my life flash before my eyes. When I heard that really loud sound, I already knew it was hitting me. I didn’t know if I was alive or dead,” said Delhonte.

He was just a few minutes into his journey home when lightning struck the antenna of his Nissan rental car from Hertz. He says he could feel it.

“I feel the sound….el BOOM!” said Delhonte.

FHP says the strike also left a 7-foot long, 4-inch wide gouge in the interstate pavement. All of the white dots are lightning strikes.

lightning strike on road
Credit: FHP

His car was towed from the scene and crews were notified about the pavement damage.

The 48-year-old driver was not injured, troopers said. But Delhonte is worried and very desperate to get back home.

“It’s easier to win the lottery than it is to be hit by lightning. The lightning came through the antennae,” Delhonte said.

Delhonte truly believes that if he didn’t have a portable charger his situation would’ve been much worse. He would’ve been stranded without anyone to call for help.

Now, he’s urging everyone to keep a portable phone charger with them in case of emergencies like his.

“With this one, I got saved. Thanks to this, I’m talking to you right now,” said Delhonte.

Hertz is working to get him a new car and get him back home.

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