Fiancee Killed by Lightning During Surprise Wedding Proposal

Pregnant Woman and Baby Survive Strike

The lightning bolt hit 25 feet from where she was standing barefoot in the driveway. It traveled up the pavement and shocked her whole body while she was loading clothes into her car outside her home.

She said in a story posted by ABC's Baltimore affilitate WMAR-TV that it felt "very tingly. It hurt, but for a second though."

"I remember hearing the lightning and the thunder and being like, 'Oh my gosh,'" she said. "From my toes to my fingertips it was really bad on my feet."

Her father, Dana Haskell, was three blocks away when he got the call that paramedics were called. "It worries you a lot," he told ABCNews.com. "She goes back to the doctor tomorrow. So far so good. I thank the lord above he's looking after her."

A marine electrician, he has been indirectly hit by lightning twice before.

"Once, I was underneath a boat and it hit the fence behind the boat and caught me in the field," he said. "If felt like someone had taken a big, old baseball bat and hit you hard."

"It's not fun," he said. "It's almost indescribable, it's such a stunning smack."

A second time, he was on the tower of a marine boat putting in electricity, when the bolt struck. "I knew enough not to hold on to anything," he said. "There was a pretty good punch in that one."

Today he has short-term memory problems and doctors have found a lesion on his brain's temporal lobe that they think may be related to the lightning strikes.

Most victims are not actually struck by lightning, but are injured in its electrical field, according to Dr. Paul Pepe, chair in emergency medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas.

The severity of the injuries depend on three things: what you are wearing, what you are touching and where the bolt strikes.

"If it's a direct hit, generally it goes through you and rips everything out of you, destroying your heart tissue, lung tissue and breaking your bones," he said. "It's violent and it will do you in."

An indirect hit might cause muscles to contract or cause pain or knock the victim over, causing a secondary injury.

A lot depends on "conductivity" in the situation, according to Pepe.

Those who are barefoot on a wet surface or touching metal will be better conducters than people in rubber shoes or boots. The rubber will "ground" a person, effectively stopping the flow of electrical current.

Lightning will always strike the highest point, which is why many are injured on a golf course. A car, with its rubber tires, is a relatively safe place to sit out a thunderstorm.

Lightning Can Strike Twice, Say Experts

Victims can also suffer long-term injuries, including memory loss or more serious brain damage.

As for the "old wives tale" that "lightning never strikes twice," it is just that, said Pepe.

"People can be hit multiple times and if you go out and do things in a risky environment, you'll get hit again," he said.

"It's a relatively rare event when you are talking about millions of people," said Pepe. "But when it happens, it's very striking and dramatic and everyone remembers it."

Such was the case with Stephen McCarthy, who was struck under clear skies, throwing a football with a friend on Island Beach State Park in New Jersey in 2001. The 22-year-old McCarthy was killed instantly and his friend survived.

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