A brave RCMP officer is being credited with saving the lives of an Edmonton couple, after their pickup truck was struck by lightning last week.
Al and Betty Perry were driving down a stretch of Highway 14 near Tofield last Saturday afternoon, when a fireball struck their silver Chevrolet pickup truck.
The fireball appeared to engulf the vehicle for a moment, deploying the airbags, melting parts of the truck and frying the electrical system.
The strike was picked up by nearby security cameras.
“It sounded like a sonic boom,” Al told CTV News in a later interview. “It was…that’s how loud [it was].”
Al said as the truck began to fill with smoke, and he couldn't get the doors or windows open, he was scared they were going to die.
WATCH CTV's segment, above via WNWO.
Constable Brian Jamont of Strathcona RCMP said he was a few hundred metres away when he saw the lightning strike.
“I couldn’t see in the cab of the truck, it was full of smoke,” Const. Jamont told CTV News. “As I approached the driver’s side, the gentleman inside was trying to kick the window out. He couldn’t get it kicked out.”
Jamont finally smashed out one of the windows with a baton.
According to Environment Canada's tips for lightning safety, a metal-topped car is generally a safe place to be during a lightning storm.
However, the agency says that drivers should pull over somewhere safe, and warns that people should "not park under tall objects that could topple, and do not get out if there are downed power lines nearby."