The Man Who Was Struck By Lightning 4 Times

The odds that you will be struck by lightning during your lifetime is estimated to be 1 in 15,300. On average, 270 people in the United States are struck every year, and only about 10% of that number die from the event. Around the world, approximately 2,000 people are struck each year. On average, there are 40 million lightning strikes a year. Unfortunately, those lightning strikes can reach 50,000 degrees, five times hotter than the sun’s surface. Walter Summerford, a Major in the British Army during World War I defied all the odds by being struck four times by lightning. In 1918, he was struck while riding a horse through a field in Belgium. The first strike paralyzed him from the waist down, but it wouldn’t be permanent. Unfortunately, his condition forced the British Army to discharge him, and he retired to Vancouver, where he recovered and regained his ability to walk. The second strike happened in 1924 while he was fishing. When it began to rain, he made the mistake of sitting under a tree. Lightning struck the tree and jumped into Summerford, resulting in a loss of feeling in his right side. Once again, he was partially paralyzed and had to undergo another bout of rehabilitation. An avid outdoorsman, Summerford was walking in a park in 1930 when he was struck by lighting a third time. This time, it left him completely paralyzed from head to toe. There would be no rehabilitation after the third strike, and Summerford would spend the rest of his days in a hospital bed before passing away in 1932. If you’re counting, that’s only three strikes. Defying the odds once again, Walter Summerford’s gravestone was struck by lighting four years after he was laid to rest, cracking his headstone into pieces.