Family escapes truck engulfed in flames after it was struck by lightning

Published: Dec. 1, 2019 at 10:49 PM CST
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The Gillihan family was on their way back home to Hutchinson on I-35 near Ottawa Friday night after visiting a dying family member in Overland Park when their truck was struck by lightning.

“They say you see the light before you die, and I thought we were all dead,” said John Gillihan, who was driving the truck.

The lightning struck the truck, causing it to go airborne, then it slid to a stop on the side of the road. The five members of the Gillihan family inside of the truck got out just in time.

“We felt the burning and immediately it just kept getting stronger and stronger and we’re like we got to get out of the truck now, so were all jumping out of the truck grabbing our stuff,” said Angel Gillihan. “As soon as we got out it caught on fire, we were just holding each other and grabbing each other because it could’ve been us in that truck not able to get out.”

The family waited in a ditch in the rain for first responders to arrive.

Eventually a couple driving by stopped to let the family sit in their car before someone could make the nearly three hour drive to pick them up.

“Luckily my daughter-in-law’s mom, she’s a God sent, she got to us quick and got us home and we’re all still here,” said John.