An employee of a Bay Shore company was alert and talking to emergency workers after he was struck by lightning Monday, police said.
The 48-year-old man was outside the Roman Stone Construction Co. on South 4th Street when he was struck at 10:15 a.m., Suffolk County police said.
The employee, a laborer with the business “for many years,” had been working outside, when his “supervisor said he needed to come in and can’t be out there in that weather,” said Sharon D’Agostino, the company’s executive vice president.
The worker responded but did not immediately come into the building — and when he did, he told colleagues he had felt a “jolt to his shoe,” with the jolt “going up his leg and arm,” D’Agostino said.
The man, who speaks Spanish, was conversant and coherent, answering questions with translation help from a fellow employee, she said, but he also “appeared to be in shock.”
When emergency responders arrived, an EKG was conducted on site before the man was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was still being monitored late afternoon Monday, with expectations of his being sent home, she said.
Tom Montalbine, head of the company, said in an email the employee is in stable condition “and appears to be in a bit of pain but is doing OK.
“He was talking and able to describe what he thought happened although he did say he probably lost consciousness for a few minutes. He was driving a forklift on our property and got off the forklift to do something work-related when lightning struck nearby and possibly conducted through the water and struck him when he made contact with a steel form in the yard.
“He said he was knocked to the ground but . . . was able to walk to the building where he sought assistance,” said Montalbine.
Along with Monday’s heavy rain, a band of “strong thunderstorms” threatened Suffolk County with “frequent cloud to ground lightening,” according to the National Weather Service’s special statement issued around 10:23 a.m.
In all, about 25 million lightning strikes are reported in the United States a year, the weather service said, with an average of 47 fatal strikes annually, though hundreds more leave victims “severely injured.” For 2017, 16 fatalities were reported.
Still, in this case, “that all worked out well, extremely well,” D’Agostino said, whose advice to the employee would be to “go out and buy a lottery ticket.”
The company makes precast concrete and iron products, according to its website.