Orlando Sentinel notes that the 45-year-old man was from Charlotte, North Carolina. People on social media claim that he’d just gotten his bike not long ago, but since the victim’s identity hasn’t been made public by the police, there’s no way of verifying their claims.
“The 45-year-old man was driving around 2:15 p.m. south on I-95, near mile marker 271, when a lightning bolt struck the top of his helmet, said FHP spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes,” the publication writes. “The unidentified driver lost control of his 2018 Harley Davidson, veered off the highway and was thrown from the bike when it flipped, the crash report said.”
In a tweet that went out one day after the crash, on Monday, FHP confirms the fatal crash but doesn’t offer more details about it. “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,” FHP says.
The decision to post the photo of the helmet has come under some fire because there are clear blood traces on it and some have deemed it disrespectful to the rider’s family.
According to the National Weather Service, this is the second fatal lightning strike in the country this year, the first one being a Texas man who was caught in a thunderstorm while on a camping trip. Of all the U.S. states, Florida has the highest number of incidents in which people are hit by lightning, but victims tend to survive.
In 2018, 20 people died after being struck by lightning, in incidents spanning the summer months of May through September.
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. pic.twitter.com/uFklUPY8r1— FHP Orlando (@FHPOrlando) June 9, 2019