It sounded like a story straight out of Ripley’s Believe it or Not, but unfortunately was no exaggerated tale. A Florida motorcyclist was struck by lightning Sunday and subsequently died after crashing his motorcycle. The incident was witnessed by an off-duty Virginia State Police trooper, according to ABC News.


The 45-year-old has been identified in a Charlotte Observer report as Benjamin Austin Lee of Charlotte, North Carolina. Lee was traveling south on Florida’s Interstate 95 in Volusia County when he was struck.

The Florida Highway Patrol posted up this picture of the damage done to a motorcyclist's helmet after it was struck by lightning. (Florida Highway Patrol Orlando Photo/Instagram)


“This is what’s left of a 45 year old man’s helmet after he was struck by lightning while riding his motorcycle southbound on I-95 in Volusia County this afternoon. Unfortunately he did not survive the crash,” read a statement posted by Florida Highway Patrol Orlando on Instagram.


According to a report published by the National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime, based on an estimated lifespan of 80 years, is 1 in 15,300. While you’d think those odds would be even higher on a moving motorcycle, seven cases have been documented by a National Weather Service study between 2006 -2019.


We offer our condolences to the Lee family and encourage riders to seek shelter if they notice a thunderstorm approaching.


Courtesy of the National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Odds of Becoming a Lightning Victim (based on averages for 2009-2018)


Estimated U.S. population as of 2019 - 330,000,000


Average Number of Deaths Reported - 27       Estimated Number of Injuries - 243


Odds of Being Struck in a Given Year (estimated total deaths + estimated injuries) - 1/1,222,000


Odds of Being Struck in Your Lifetime - (Est. 80 year lifespan)  1/15,300


2006 - 46-year-old man on motorcycle on highway in Westminster, CO
2007 – 47-year-old man leaning against motorcycle in open field in Overton County, TN
2009 – 45-year-old man on motorcycle on highway in Perry, KS
2010 – 53-year-old man riding motorcycle on highway in Chaffee City, CO
2011 – 57-year-old man riding motorcycle on highway in Wasta, SD
2013 – 50-year-old man just off motorcycle under a tree in Madras, OR
2014 – 44-year-old man riding motorcycle on highway in Cimarron, NM
2015 – 40-year-old female riding motorcycle on road in Carrizozo, NM
             37-year-old male riding motorcycle on highway in Rio Arriba County, NM
2016 – 54-year-old male putting on rain gear next to motorcycle in Yancey County, NC