FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — When hearing about someone being hit by lightning, you may think the outcome would be deadly.

However, 90% of people actually survive those strikes.

What You Need To Know

  • Ninety percent of people who are struck by lightning survive. 

  • The chances of being struck by lightning in a given year is about 1 in 500,000. 

  • More than 400 people are struck by lightning each year in the U.S. 

  • Two people were killed by lightning strikes in North Carolina in 2020. 

Shana Turner, a Fayetville woman, saw her life flash before her eyes in September 2015.

She was working a girls soccer game at Jack Britt High School. A storm was forecasted, but they weren't expecting anything out of the ordinary.

"I'll never forget it. It was like a bomb going off next to you," Turner says.

Turner works as a school teacher. She was on game duty at the front gate monitoring attendees when the lightning first struck.

"It set the ball players in for about 30 minutes, and once they came back out about 5 minutes later they started to play again and in about five minutes it hit the transformer that was by me," Turner says.

After that strike, she went in the booth where she was leaning on a metal door.

“It blew all of the lights out on the field, went into the school, blew all of the lights out in the school, took out the computers all the TVs, and it knocked me straight to the ground when it came in the booth.”

Out of shock, she did not seek immediate medical attention, instead she drove herself and her son, who did not have his driver's license at the time, home.

"I honestly thought I was not going to make it," Turner says.

Some would say Turner is lucky, because about 10% of people struck by lightning do not live to tell their stories.

According to the National Weather Service, more than 400 people are struck by lightning in a year in the United States. An average of 41 people are killed by those strikes.

For those who do survive, the effects are lifelong.

"It's affected every organ pretty much in my body,” she says.

On her shoulder is a permanent reminder of that moment that changed her life. She has a tattoo of a lightning bolt with a butterfly.

“You don’t look like you have a disability, but because what’s happened, we do," Turner says.

She attends a lightning strike survivor conference twice a year.

"There are so many survivors out there that were doing just common everyday things that you don’t even think about. like being on your cell phone, taking a shower during a storm, so I try to educate people as much as I possibly can because it's a life-changing thing," Turner says.