SEATTLE -- A 60-year-old motorcyclist was struck by lightning early Thursday morning as he rode on I-5 in Chehalis during one of many thunderstorms that rolled through Western Washington.
The bolt came just after 9 a.m. as the man was riding in the northbound lanes about 1/2 mile south of 13th Street.
Martin Zapalac said the biker had just passed him and was about 10 car lengths ahead of him. "All of a sudden him and his bike lit up," Zapalac said. "I felt when the thunder came -- I felt the concussion of it -- it was a pretty good jolt."
The rider managed to pull over to the shoulder and Zapalac stopped to make sure he was OK.
"Definitely disoriented but he was talking," Zapalec said. "He took his helmet off and his hair was singed," adding the inside of the helmet showed obvious signs of being hit by lightning.
The two drove to a nearby gas station, where they called 911 to summon a medic. The rider was eventually taken to Providence-Centralia Hospital with some burns and hearing loss and then was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he is listed in satisfactory condition.