Thunderstruck with shock

A shot from Tim McDonald’s video. Picture: Tim McDonaldFEW people struck by lightning live to tell the tale, but even fewer write the whole thing off as a strange stitch-up by their workmates.
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It’s a club so small and unusual it may include onlyWeston’s Jason Tait, who did both within minutes atRutherford on Wednesday.

His newfound claim to fame came surging down from the heavens over Rutherford about 4pm on Thursday as he shifted a mate’s ute out of the hail and under shelter.

“We started moving some of the cars under cover,” Mr Taitsaid.

“When the hail really started coming down he asked if I could move his car.”

Longtime colleague Tim McDonald filmed the hail on his phone while Mr Tait drove colleague Ken Marvin’s utilityoff the street.

The footage became more interesting in a flash as lightning scorched the sky, spraying sparks off the ute’s black twin cab and arcing to a nearby power pole.

Footage from Mr McDonald’s phone shows the car barely breaking its pace despite the dramatic strike, which appears to hit the passenger side roof.

Mr Taithappily concedes thathe was calm through complete ignorance of what had happenedrather than nerves of steel or a cool head.

Lightning strike survivor Jason Tait, left, and his workmate Tim McDonald on Friday. Picture by Jonathan Carroll

A flash through the back window was all he saw from the driver’s seat metres away from where the lighting hit.

Mr Tait said he felt more like he had been photographed than struck by lighting, and would likely have written the whole thing off as a bad prank without photographic evidence.

“I’ve seen a flash out the backwindow but that was it,” Mr Taitsaid.“I was a bit shocked when I actually saw what happened.I honestly thought those guys were stitching me up.”

The full pyrotechnic display inspires audible wonder from Mr McDonald as Mr Tait appearsto shrug it off.

“It was absolutely amazing, he was a little bit oblivious to it,”Mr McDonald said

Jason Tait

Mr Tate says he is grateful for his lucky escape despite his early doubts.

“I’ve still got two legs and a heartbeat,” he said.

The incident resembles the 2013 Bar Beachstrike that leftWickham’s Wayne Lennan with a damaged car,a sound resembling a shotgun blast ringing in his ears and a viral video.

Mr Lennan escaped the incident without any injury.

Mr Taitjoked on Friday the video gave his planned braggingextra punch.“I’m going to milk it,” he said.”Especially if it’s in the paper.”

Newcastle Herald

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