Lightning strike blows man right out of his smoking shoes

An Atlanta man is thankful to be alive after a lightning strike blew him right out of his shoes. (CNN/WGCL)

ATLANTA (CNN/WGCL) — An Atlanta man is thankful to be alive after a lightning strike blew him right out of his shoes.

He took video of the moments just after the strike to prove to his wife he wasn’t joking.

“Right when the lightning struck, it was like a loud crash — like a clap,” said Sean O’Connor.

O’Connor was getting ready to do some yard work Saturday after work. The sun was out, and he couldn’t see or hear any thunder or lightning.

“Just as I picked up the rake, I heard a loud crashing sound,” sad O’Connor. “A few moments later, I was picking myself up off the ground. I had the taste of blood in my mouth. I noticed my leg was burning a little bit.”

O’Connor was home alone, so it took him a bit to realize what had just happened.

“My leg hairs were singed. I could smell the burnt hair,” he said. “I looked across the driveway, and I could see my boots over there. They were no longer on my feet, and one of them was smoking. At that point, I realized I had just been hit by lightning.”

He called his wife and shot this cell phone video to prove to her he wasn’t kidding.

“I don’t see any other damage,” he said. “I think I’m all right.”

She urged him to go to the emergency room right away.

“In my mind, I’d survived a lightning strike, and I didn’t think things could get any worse from there,” he said.

Because a lightning strike interrupts your heart’s own electrical system, it caused O’Connor’s to beat irregularly. Doctors kept him overnight.

His kids think he’s pretty cool now, and while he realizes the severity of it all, he also takes it in stride.

“I’ve had a lot of friends comment and ask me if I can now bend spoons with my mind — which I don’t,” he said.

According to the National Weather Service, the estimated odds of being struck by lightning in any given year is more than one in 700,000. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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