BIKER DAD: 911 calls in biker’s lightning strike death released

Biker Dad

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG/WKMG/CNN) – Officials have released the 911 calls surrounding the unusual death of a biker on a Florida Highway. Austin Lee was killed Sunday when lightning struck his helmet, and he crashed. 

“911 what’s your emergency,” the frantic calls each begin. They came into the emegrency center after a man was killed in a bizarre way on I-95 South. He was struck by lightning. 
“We need an ambulance like right now because I don’t think he’s moving,” one caller says.  Another call, “I think lightning struck him and um knocked him off the motorcycle.” Troopers say the man killed was 45-year-old Benjamin Lee of North Carolina. They tweeted a picture of his damaged helmet. Investigators say it was struck by lightning, causing him to crash. Many drivers saw it all happened, a few even stopped and tried to help.  Despite drivers doing all they could, Benjamin Lee sadly didn’t make it. 


UPDATE: CBS affiliate WKMG in Orlando reports the victim has been identified as Benjamin Austin Lee, 45, of Charlotte, North Carolina

UPDATE: Officers say the man was from North Carolina An off-duty Virginia state trooper witnessed the lightning strike. This may sound like a bizarre, very rare incident. But the national lightning safety council says ten lightning strike deaths linked to motorcycles have happened since 2006.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) –  A biker was killed on a Florida highway when a bolt of lightning hit him. It happened Sunday afternoon on Southbound I-95 near Ormond Beach.

The Florida Highway Patrol says the biker was hit by lightning on the top of his helmet. A picture of the rider’s helmet tweeted by the Florida Highway Patrol shows cracks in the top where the lightning struck. The motorcycle then flew off the highway and crashed. His name has not been released because next of kin have not been notified.


Lightning is the second deadliest weather phenomenon after flooding. About 50 people die every year from lightning strikes in the U.S. according to NOAA.

Please be careful out there, and follow me on social media:

Chris Best is the News Director for WKRG. He’s a husband and father of four. He’s also a motorcycle enthusiast.


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