‘Siri, I need to start CPR’: Motorcyclist saved after lightning strike on I-66

The lightning bolt traveled through his helmet and down his body, burning his silver chain necklace into his skin, setting his bike on fire and sending him flying.

A Virginia man returned home from the hospital Thursday after surviving a lightning strike on Interstate 66 Saturday.

Noah Fowler, 20, knows just how lucky he was that someone was driving by at the moment he was struck by lightning while riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle during a storm. He had been taking pictures with his girlfriend at Skyline Drive when the storm rolled in Saturday afternoon.

As he rode home, the rain picked up, and visibility was poor.

”I was, like, two miles from my house, so I was, like, ‘Ah, I can make it home; I know where I’m going,’” Fowler said. “And next thing I know, I wake up on the ground with like 20 people or so around me.”

The lightning bolt traveled through his helmet and down his body. It burned his silver necklace into his skin, set his bike on fire — and sent him flying.

Erica Sutherland and her fiancé, who work in the medical field, were heading in the other direction on I-66 and passed by right as Fowler was hit.

“He flipped and flipped and flipped, and he smacked the pavement and smacked and smacked and then just slid like a slip and slide,” Sutherland said.

Her fiancé stopped their Jeep, and she ran to help.

“The first thing I did was put my hand on his neck for a pulse,” Sutherland said. “There was none, none. So, I looked at my watch and I said, ‘Hey Siri, I need to start CPR.’”

Another Good Samaritan covered them with a blanket as Sutherland did chest compressions. Four minutes and 12 seconds later, Fowler regained consciousness.

“When I was able to bring him back, the first thing he said was, ‘Can you call my mom?’” Sutherland said.

“I answered and I just hear this panicked voice on the end,” Fowler’s mother said. “’I’m with your son. He’s been in a motorcycle accident.’ And I honestly can’t even remember what she said after that.”

“I hope that’s a feeling I never have to feel, and I hope it’s something I never hear in the other end of a phone line,” said a tearful Sutherland, who has three children.

Noelle Fowler and Noah’s sister Lauren rushed to the scene as EMTs were taking him to the hospital. Doctors told them it was a miracle he didn’t break any bones or seriously hurt his head.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Noah Fowler said.

He suffered a ruptured eardrum, burns and bruises.

“The only explanation is God,” Noelle Fowler said. “There’s … it wasn’t coincidence.”

The mother of five says her family has expanded by two.

“We need to be open to helping everybody,” she said. “Stop judging … She [Sutherland] restored my faith in humanity. She really restored my faith in humanity.”

Noah Fowler still has a long road ahead, but he says he will get back to work and back on his bike as soon as he’s strong enough. He’s looking forward to spending more time with the former strangers who saved his life.

“I think they’re going to be part of my life forever,” he said.

What a great story and certainly a reason to make sure you are CPR trained.  Thanks to NBC Washington for reporting on this situation.  Here is the link to the original article.

If you’re not CPR trained please consider taking training and earning your certification.  You can find more about our classes and enrollment by visiting our ‘Enroll & Register” page.