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Local Man Almost Struck By Lightning on Camera [VIDEO]

ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

The potential for being killed as the result of a lighting strike is greater in Michigan than most states across the nation. Recent statistics indicate that 107 people have died in Michigan since 1959 due to lightning strikes — ranking Michigan as 13th in the nation.

Tom Leaf almost became number 108 while filming an April lightning storm in Shiawassee County from what he thought was a safe distance. Apparently, mother nature didn’t recognize his precautions and damn near fried him alive! Tom certainly isn’t the first to have a close encounter with lightning this year, in fact, over 50 people a year are fatally struck during thunderstorms.

What makes this phenomenon so strange is the fact that Michigan statistically is hit with fewer thunderstorms than many other states. Strangely, data provided by the National Weather Services reveals that the majority of lighting strike fatalities – 64 percent – happened during leisurely activities, such as boating and golf.

There is speculation that people in Michigan are at such an elevated risk for lighting strikes because they are relentless outdoors enthusiasts. In fact, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, fishermen and soccer players have the most potential for being killed by lighting in Michigan. Data shows that 48 percent of all water-related lighting fatalities are the result of fishing, while 41 percent of sports-related lighting deaths happens during soccer games.

So, while most of the Midwest must concern themselves with tornados, Michigan’s lighting threat is equally as severe. Experts say it always best to not take chances where lighting is concerned – seek safe shelter immediately if weather conditions become favorable for lighting or risk ending up like the dude below or worse!

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