A New Jersey teen tried recording lightning strikes while stuck in a thunderstorm on Monday. He ended up getting struck by one of the bolts.
The intense flash of lightning blasted the floor about 10 to 15 feet away from him, sending shockwaves through his legs, into his chest and out of his hands, Ethan Riozzi-Bodine, 16, told ABC News — “My whole body was being vibrated.”
The National Weather Service had issued a thunderstorm watch across 17 New Jersey counties, including the area where Riozzi-Bodine was struck. The teen lifeguard had been out by Bradley Beach, trying to avoid the thunderstorm rolling in at about 6 p.m. on Monday when his bike chain broke.
“I just wanted to get like a cool lightning shot over the ocean and I got it a lot closer to me than I wanted,” he told the network.
Another bolt actually struck nearby seconds earlier, but before the boy could get to safety, lightning hit again.
The boy’s mother, Elaine Riozzi-Bodine, prompted him to head to the emergency room. “I just think he’s extremely lucky,” she told reporters. “It could have been very easily been a completely different story.”
The teen avoided serious injuries from the incident, leaving the hospital completely unscathed. “The only reason I didn’t pass out or die is because I was holding onto my bike — the rubber (tires) grounded me.”
“Now that it’s over I can say that it was cool, but during the whole process of it happening it was not cool at all,” he said.
Two years ago, 12-year-old Hannah Peters, sitting with a friend along the Shark River one spring afternoon, lost her footing as she rose to leave and fell forward onto a sharp rock which sliced open her chest.
The girl, bleeding profusely, tried to run home but encountered the then-14-year-old Bodine and his friend Taylor Davis along the way. The long-time Boy Scout recalled his basic first aid training, telling the youngster to lie down as he took her pulse and held a rag tight to her chest while Davis ran for help.
The wound, which measured seven inches long and three deep, just missed her jugular vein and heart and took 20 stitches to close. The two teens visited Peters the next day and were showered with gratitude by her family.