Lightning bolt shocks Ocean Co. family

June 23, 2008 4:15:27 PM PDT
Late yesterday afternoon, lightning struck and a family felt the effects. It was just before 5:00 p.m. Sunday as the Casanovas family was enjoying a backyard barbeque and swimming in the pool when a giant thunderclap blew the party apart.

"Explosion. That's what it sounded like. Just amazing, I can't even explain it; it was so loud, you went deaf for a moment," Dawn Casanovas said.

Dawn of the Pine Lake Park section of Manchester was swinging on a metal glider Sunday with her niece and nephew, 4-year-old Robby and 8-year-old Amber, when a lightning bolt struck just a few feet away.

"I thought a bomb went off because you didn't see anything. You just felt it and heard it," Dawn said.

The family believes the lightning may have hit a tree and traveled to the backyard fence where it blew a hole right through it. Then the current made its way through the ground, which was soaked from a sprinkler, to the glider, where Dawn and Amber were sitting in wet bathing suits.

"Robby rolled over on his stomach and was screaming and holding his back," Dawn said.

Relatives called 911 and EMTs determined the trio suffered minor burns on their backsides from the current, but no other injuries.

Next door neighbor Wayne Smith was home with is kids when the lightning bolt struck.

"The power went out and I saw a flash from my entertainment center so I thought that I got hit," Wayne said.

Dawn was babysitting her niece and nephew for the weekend. She says the call to her sister Darlene to tell her what happened was emotional, to say the least.