CARMEL- June 28, 2001

The Good Lord must have been riding with Gerry and Katherine Locascio Saturday when the Kent couple's 1998 Ford Explorer was struck by a bolt of lightning.

The Locascios were traveling on Route 301 and were crossing a causeway that bisects the West Branch Reservoir when a bolt of lightning struck the antenna on their vehicle.

Police said the antenna disintegrated while both airbags inside the SUV detonated. The two front tires on the vehicle became flattened and the windshield cracked.

Mr. Locascio said, "everything happened so quickly that we didn't get a chance to think. We were creeping along in a torrential downpour when all of a sudden we heard a tremendous boom and the car filled with smoke. The airbags kept us in place but we didn't realize what had happened until we got out of the car and saw the burn marks in the paint. We started to shake when we realized that we had been struck by lightning."

Police said the couple was extremely fortunate, the lightning also damaged a section of Route 301. The car was towed from the scene and Carmel Fire Department personnel under the command of Assistant Chief Karen Tompkins responded to assist.


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