Shocking Story of a Long Island Man Struck by Lightning

By Greg Cergol
|  Wednesday, Oct 13, 2010  |  Updated 6:38 AM EDT
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Bill Stonehouse

Lightning over Manhattan on 10/11/2010. Taken by Bill Stonehouse from Weehawken, NJ at about 8:45pm. Thanks! Bill Stonehouse

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"It was frightening, it was frightening -- I really thought I was gonna die," said Phil Colacioppo.

It’s a story Phil Colacioppo is glad he’s here to tell. The story of how, right in his Lake Grove driveway, the 33-year-old was struck by a bolt of lightning

"The sound rocked the house," said his wife, Janine. "It was a huge boom!"

She was with their two daughters -- the family just back from a trip to Great Adventure.

And with a lightning storm delaying the Jets game on TV, Colacioppo decided to unload the family minivan.

That's when he got the shock of his life.

"I felt just this violent blow to my back," he said.

Colacioppo was thrown face first onto the ground, feeling a current rushing through his body -- but he never lost consciousness.

"Within a couple of seconds, I was able to get myself up and the more I moved around I realized, I’m alive... I think I’m okay," said Colacioppo.

In fact, other than this fern like mark on his shoulder Colacioppo is fine. He was treated and released from Stony Brook University Hospital. Colacioppo had taken off his wedding ring and watch and left behind his wallet just before the lightning strike and doctors say that may have helped save him.

Amazingly, the National Weather Service reports that only 10% of those struck by lightning are killed. But the odds of being hit in any given year are about 1 in three quarters of a million

"Really makes you appreciate life and realize how quickly things can change," said Janine Colacioppo.

A lesson Colacioppo will remember every time he looks at his little girls

"A miracle from God that he wanted Daddy to be here for them and watch them grow up," he said.

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