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Archive for Thursday, September 7, 1995

LIGHTNING STRIKES TWO MEN IN QUARRY

September 7, 1995

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A trip to a Douglas County quarry Wednesday proved a little out of the ordinary for two Topeka truck drivers.

Both men wound up at Lawrence Memorial Hospital after a lightning bolt struck near them as they were waiting to load their trucks at the Hunt Midwest Quarry, 1414 East 700 Rd.

Unfortunately, both were touching metal on their trucks and were jolted by electricity from the strike.

The drivers, John Thacker and Donald Anderson, both were listed in good condition late Wednesday by hospital officials. They were being held overnight for observation.

Patrick Pollock, a Douglas County sheriff's deputy, said the lightning strike occurred shortly before 3:25 p.m. during a brief rain and lightning storm that rolled through western Douglas County. The quarry is about two miles south of the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and Douglas County Road 442.

"They saw a flash and (heard) a boom," Pollock said. "The next thing they know, they were on the ground."

Carl Rieger, safety and environmental coordinator for the Randolph, Mo.-based mining company, said both drivers had their trucks backed up to a stockpile waiting to load when the lightning struck.

"One of the individuals was standing on the running board of the truck and the other had his arm up against the truck," Rieger said. "The electricity traveled up and struck them both. ... It was just an act of God. It just happened to hit there."

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