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Bicyclist struck in head by lightning


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MARYLAND HEIGHTS • A bicyclist riding on the Maryland Heights Expressway was struck in the head by lightning and went into cardiac arrest Thursday evening, witnesses said, but Pattonville paramedics were able to revive him. 

Maryland Heights police Detective Joe Eagan said the man, 51, of Ballwin, was unconscious and in critical condition Thursday night. 

The incident happened about 5:20 p.m., as the man was bicycling south on the expressway about a quarter mile south of the Hollywood Casino, said Pattonville Fire District Batallion chief Ken Aydelott.


Eagan said he worked in the Riverport area and was bicycling home. It was storming violently, Aydelott said, and passing motorists saw a lightning bolt strike his head. Eagan said the man had a wound on his foot, so it was unclear where on his body he was initially struck or if the bolt had exited his foot. 

The man fell to the ground, and the witnesses pulled over, called 911, and began CPR. Paramedics arrived within four minutes and began advanced life support, and they were able to revive him on the way to SSM DePaul Health Center.

Aydelott said about half a dozen people were at the scene when paramedics arrived, and they risked getting struck by lighting as well.

"For those bystanders to get out of their car and help was really something," he said.

Police did not release the man's name.

The man was riding a basic 10-speed road bike, Aydelott said. Half of the outer plastic shell of the man's helmet had been torn or melted off by the bolt, exposing the foam underneath.



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The part about the people getting out of their cars in the storm to help while risking their own lives is really cool.  I hope those people will be recognized in some way.  


Safest place to be.  Remember lighting never strikes the same place twice.

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