Saturday, April 21, 2018
Public safety

Man reportedly hit by lightning, gets up and is okay (w/video)

A man reportedly hit by lightning at a St. Petersburg gas station Sunday afternoon walked inside its convenience store, sat down but refused to be taken to the hospital.

A group of motorcyclists had taken refuge from the rain beneath the giant metal awnings of the BP gas station near 49th Street and Fifth Avenue S that afternoon.

Then the owner, Matt Yaghoubi, 48, heard a crashing sound.

Yaghoubi walked to the door to investigate. A moment later a biker in leather stepped through, and behind him another man. The man trudged in slowly, shaking his head. Then he raised both hands as if to surrender.

"He got hit, he got hit," Yaghoubi recalled the man's friends repeating.

"I felt it, I could feel it from him," another man said.

A group of bikers walked their friend, whose name was not known, near the wall of refrigerated drinks.

Emergency responders arrived and treated the man, and he seemed to be fine, Yaghoubi said, except his face was a bit pale and he was told his blood pressure was high.

The man declined any other medical care, and told EMTs he had medication for high blood pressure at home, Yaghoubi said. They kept watch for a while and then released him.

"The bottom line is, thank God he's okay," Yaghoubi said.

Meanwhile, a group of customers complained to Yaghoubi that something was wrong with his gas pumps. He told them that they, along with a man, had been struck by lightning.

Yaghoubi, on hold with the repair company, walked outside to put up signs that read "Out of service."

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