ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas man is recovering tonight after he was struck by lightning, while going into an Arkansas City Walmart.
Josh Carnaggio says it was storming outside and he could hear thunder. He described what happened when he hopped out of his car in the parking lot.
“I guess about 30 feet away. There was a pole and the lightning struck it and me. It got me pretty good, knocked me to the ground, had a hard time breathing, muscles tightened up and everything pretty good,” said Carnaggio.
Carnaggio tried to describe the feeling he got when he says he was struck.
“I don’t know how to describe it except for the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life,” said Carnaggio.
Carnaggio says he was on the phone with his wife when he felt the lightning strike up his right leg. He says there were people nearby who acted quickly, carrying him inside and calling 911.
“I’m pretty lucky, a couple of my friends happened to be at Walmart, not with me, they just happened to be in the vehicle right next to where it happened, so they were able to get a hold of family and let them know what was going on while the paramedics treated me,” said Carnaggio.
Carnaggio says he was taken to the hospital, but was able to leave a short while later.
He says he hasn’t had many side effects from his lightning strike, except for a little bit of pain and some muscle spasms.
According to the National Weather Service, lightning kills an average of 49 people in the United States each year and injured hundreds more. In 2016, 38 Americans were killed. So far, in 2017, there have been no lightning related deaths.
In the last ten years, five Kansans have been killed by lightning. The most recent one was a 68-year-old man who was hit while standing in his front yard in Coffey County in July of 2012.