East County man captures lightning strike on cellphone; strike knocks him off his feet

SAN DIEGO - An East County man narrowly escaped major injury after lightning struck the ground about 10 feet away from where he was standing and knocked him off his feet.

At about 4 p.m. Tuesday, the clouds were rolling in above Chambers Park in Lake Cuyamaca, prompting Hans Nansen and a friend to take a look.

They saw and heard lighting on the horizon. Nansen said, "That's why I had my phone out. I said, 'I'm going to catch some of these cool strikes.'"

"We weren't standing here in the rain going, 'Woohooo! It's raining and thundering.' No, we seemed pretty safe. There was blue sky above us," Nansen told 10News.

Nansen showed 10News reporter Joe Little the area where lightning hit the ground.

"I was standing right here. Those are the trees right there on the video," Nansen said. "And boom, I mean, it had to have hit right here."

As he captured the weather activity on his cellphone, the lightning struck.

"It knocked me back. My phone went. I ended up back there somewhere," said Nansen.

Nansen said the electricity from the lightning dinged his phone.

"I could feel it. I could taste it," said Nansen.

"Taste?" asked Little.

"Yeah, it was kind of a metallic," Nansen said. "I saw that bolt go into my shoe."

Nansen said he's grateful he was not burned or killed.

"I wasn't happy. It was pretty scary," he told 10News. "Everyone keeps saying, 'Buy lottery tickets,' and I did."

Lightning kills roughly 24,000 people around the world every year.

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