'Lightning hit him. He went flying off his bike,' 911 caller says

Victim in Ormond Beach crash on I-95 ID'd as Benjamin Lee

By Jerry Askin - Reporter, Jack Roskopp - Graham Media Group

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A bolt of lightning struck a motorcyclist driving southbound on Interstate 95 in Ormond Beach, causing a crash and his death, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.  

Troopers said Monday that Benjamin Austin Lee, 45, of Charlotte, North Carolina, died in the crash, which happened around 3 p.m. Sunday near mile marker 271 in Volusia County.  

The FHP said an off-duty Virginia state trooper witnessed the lightning strike and its aftermath.

He told the FHP a bolt of lightning hit the motorcyclist's helmet, causing the helmet to shatter and the driver to veer off the road.  

Lee was pronounced dead at the scene. 

(LISTEN TO VIDEO BELOW FOR 911 CALLS)

Queen Gibbs, like many drivers, found herself stuck in slow-moving traffic on I-95 for more than an hour.

"We saw the lightning strike but never did think that someone got struck," Gibbs said. "It’s horrific." 

"Lightning hit him. He went flying off his bike," a witness told a dispatcher.  

"He fell out into the center of the median, the bike flew out, hit the ground and he probably went, like, 50 feet," another caller told a dispatcher.  

Some drivers passing by stopped and tried to help. 

"He's unconscious. They're doing CPR right now," a caller said.  

Another caller told the dispatcher, "He's dead. My friend is a nurse. There are people out there and she said there's no pulse."

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