Now, I am not glad these poor people died—it is very, very sad, and they left behind three children. But for goodness sakes, don’t people know better than this?
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A mother and father who made the mistake of taking shelter from a storm under a tree were killed instantly - right before their three youngsters’ eyes. Richard and Lisa Goff died Saturday evening when a thunderstorm with hail, hard rain and a barrage of lightning bolts hit the campground at Crystal Lake, about 60 miles east of Salt Lake City. The parents, both 34, were sitting on metal chairs when the bolt came down, the woman’s sister, Lori Ostler, told KUTV-TV of Salt Lake City. The children were expected to be released to their grandparents.
I knew which story you were talking about before even opening the thread. Really, this story should be a Simpsons episode – remember the Little Miss Springfield winner – but that it’s real makes me despair for the species.
Just for the record, it’s no more dangerous to sit on a metal chair under a tree in lightning storm than it is to stand under the tree wearing rubber-soled shoes. It’s the being under the tree at all that’s the dumb, dangerous part. The metal chairs had nothing whatosever to do with this accident.
Not quite true, although I’ve always wondered why anyone would think 1 inch of rubber would matter to a bolt that just penetrated some incredible amount of air.
When caught in a lightning storm, it is important to keep your feet as close together as possible. Doing so minimizes the voltage drop across your body, which minimizes the current flow. That is why it sucks to be a cow in a lightning storm. I suspect the parents died and the kids survived, because the kids had their feet closer together than the dimensions of the parents’ chairs.
Gonna have to call bullshit on that one. Got a cite to back you up? I fail to see how the distance between your feet is going to alter the voltage drop across your body significantly in a vertical voltage gradient–the lightning is most likely to strike high up on your body at or near the head, and tend to travel downward, towards ground.