‘I feel truly blessed that I am here today’: Woman talks about moment lightning bolt struck her car

CLEVELAND-A very close call for a woman as her car is struck by lightning.

Julia Bates, a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University, was on her way home to Mentor Tuesday night when the lightning struck.

She was able to pull over onto the side of the highway.  "I was holding onto the steering wheel; I mean, I felt shocks just go up both my arms, my chest was immediately, I felt like just pressure," Bates told FOX 8.

"From my perspective, it was like the biggest, whitest, brightest light surrounding my car and the loudest boom I have ever heard, and everything, all the lights on my dashboard, all the lights on my car came on when the light was surrounding and then the minute it like the light went away, I'm like watching everything in my car just shutting down," she continued.

The lightning strike was captured on a dashboard camera mounted in the car of local business owner Andrew Graham. "It was just so crazy, and then when it hit the ground, it shot up rocks; when you could see in my video, my dash cam video, it shot up rocks and you can hear them hitting the front of my car and you can see me going through the ball of smoke."

Gary Dalton, service manager at Honda of Mentor, said Bates' car was totaled by the bolt of lightning.  "It's taken out the main computer and the charging system; it also probably has compromised the airbags because it did hit one of the main electrical lines through here."

Everyone involved is amazed that Bates was not seriously injured and that she was able to guide her car to the side of the highway after it lost power. "I don't know how I was able to make it and I do feel truly blessed that I am here today talking; it's just that I'm just like an average person just trying to get home from class," Bates said.