BRUNSWICK, NC (WWAY) -- What started as a typical Sunday afternoon with family quickly turned into some scary moments for a Columbus County man. That's because lightning struck nearby causing him to lose his sight and hearing temporarily.
Lamont Bethea, 31, says he was getting ready to cook out when all of a sudden he heard a loud bang. A few seconds later he felt a burning sensation.
"All of sudden I got hot, I started burning," Bethea said. "I thought it was from the fire, so I ran that way. As soon as I ran over there, that's when my body wouldn't let me run. It just shut down, and I just fell. All of a sudden I just started shaking. I couldn't hear. I couldn't see. The only thing I was seeing was white spots all over the place.
"My mama kept shaking me, and my girlfriend kept shaking me, but I couldn't hear what they were saying, because I could not hear nothing. I couldn't hear anything and really could not see them 'cause it was just white."
EMS arrived a short time later. Bethea's vision and hearing eventually came back.
A doctor told the former Marine sergeant that he was not hit directly by the lightning strike, but that the electricity produced ran through his body.
"I just thank God that it wasn't a direct hit cause if it was I'd be dead," Bethea said.
Bethea says despite feeling tired, he's doing OK; the lightning not affecting his sense of humor.
"People ask me if I got super powers now," he said. "I'm like, no, but I'll find out when I hit the basketball gym."
Bethea only spent a few hours at the hospital opting not to stay the night.