Caught on camera: Lightning strike hits storm-chasing photographer’s car and disables it

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With the advancements in tech, the proliferation of relatively inexpensive camera equipment and the ever pervasive advancement of social media and YouTube over the last decade or so, storm-chasing has become a big thing. Once a task only pursued by scientists and the absolutely insane, it’s now become pretty normal. For a storm chaster who goes by the name Pi (and More Pi on YouTube), though, this trip was anything but normal.

While looking for tornadoes in Iowa, his car (which he was inside) was struck by lightning and completely disabled. It also fried one of his in-car cameras. Fortunately for us, he had his own cameras recording and the whole event was also captured on camera from the vantage point of his friend, High Risk Chris, in a separate car.

Pi wasn’t quite sure at first what was happening after you hear the loud bang of the lightning in the video up top. But you can see that the event instantly and visibly shook him. When his car then wouldn’t start, he quickly guessed the lightning might have struck the vehicle directly and disabled it. Later viewing from the camera in his friend’s vehicle confirmed that lightning did indeed strike the antenna on top of his car, frying some of the vehicle’s electronics as well as one of his action cameras.

Although the incident happened a month ago, Pi’s Prius is still not running and is awaiting repair. According to a recent update on the video’s description, the dealer had to replace the Engine Control Module (ECM) in order to be able to even diagnose what else might be wrong with the vehicle. Once that was installed and with the repair bill already at $1,000, they found three Electronic Control Units (ECUs) that needed to be replaced (which would be another $2,500).

Pi plans to tow the vehicle home to Colorado and replace them himself to save a little money on the repair. But that might not be the end of things. He suspects the vehicle will need further diagnosing once those are replaced to identify other components that may also need to be replaced.

To follow Pi’s adventures, you can find More Pi on YouTube and Even More Pi on Facebook.

[via PetaPixel]

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