Son recounts watching lightning strike father - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Son recounts watching lightning strike father

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The sound and the fury knocked them off their feet.

“I couldn't even react,” Derrick Murphy said. “It's just so fast, just a half a second.”

Derrick was storm chasing near Denison, Iowa with his father Danny on Sunday night when the lightning bolt hit.

“It looked like a grenade had exploded 20 feet in front of me,” Derrick said.

Then he woke up on the ground.

“I look up and I don't see my dad,” he said. “I got up and I see him laying on the ground. He couldn't move. He was basically paralyzed.”

Derrick had minor injuries, but Danny was badly hurt in the strike. Every muscles in his body had spasmed from the electricity. Derrick, standing over his father, was at a loss.

“His eyes were glazed over,” he said. “I thought he was going to die. I thought I just lost my dad. I was on the verge of losing it.”

Now, Danny's recovering in a Sioux City hospital, and Derrick is reflecting on the incredible power of the storm.

“The only thing I remember is the electrical feeling in your teeth,” he said. “You can feel it. It was weird, it was terrible.”

Despite the injuries, he's still feeling oddly lucky.

“Probably something is on our side to help us survive,” Derrick said. “I bet there's a little luck in that.”

Still, he's not looking to press that luck. The pair plan to still chase storms, but closer to home.

“If it ever happens again, we probably won't be as lucky. Either both of us will be dead or one of us will. I thought we were being safe, but you really can't be safe around a storm.”

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