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Survivor recounts moment she was struck by lightning

Lightning strike survivor talks with Ashley Brown

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Carlee Bender’s love for softball started at a very young age. Carlee has a long list of reasons of why she loved being a part of the Seymour High School softball team. At the top of the list — the adrenaline rush of taking the field. She has so many memories on the field but there’s one day she says she’ll never forget.

“That day pretty much started out as normal.” said Bender. “I woke up, went to school, and then we had softball practice afterwards. We were just out having our normal practice and then all of a sudden a huge lightning strike hit our field and kind of obviously changed the whole day.”

Carlee and her teammates had been struck by lightning, seemingly out of nowhere.

“There wasn’t even any storms in sight or anything,” recalled Bender. “And all of a sudden we had tons of ambulances and everything surrounding the field and obviously had to quit practice and resumed after we could, after everyone went to the hospital, then our coaches and everyone showed up at the hospital afterwards, but it was a huge shock just because of how normal the day was and how things changed so quickly.”

One of her teammates was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Carlee was lucky, she had no external injuries from the strike, just numbness and tingling in her legs for days.

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Lightning passed through Carlee’s knee. She says she has no permanent damage, but she did take away a very important lesson.

“I think that overall I am just more cautious and the stories about lightning and to think that like we were out there when we shouldn’t have been, but it wasn’t like that we were out there when everything was clear,” said Bender. “Shortly after that our school got a monitor that monitors everything and even watch it a lot more closely than they did before so I would say overall it has brought a lot of awareness to me.”