NORTHPORT, Suffolk County (WABC) -- A man was struck by lightning while standing in front of his Long Island home Sunday night.
Police say 29-year-old Jonathan Borriello, of Ocean Avenue in Northport, escaped serious injury in the incident, which happened at 10:48 p.m. as a thunderstorm passed through.
Borriello told police he went out onto his front porch to get a better view of the storm when he realized a U.S. flag was being displayed outside.
He took the flag down and placed it on the porch, and moments later, a tree about 11 feet away was struck by a bolt of lightning, splitting the tree in half.
Borriello said the same bolt ricocheted and struck him on the left shoulder and arm, throwing him 2 to 3 feet.
He said he heard a loud bang and then felt pain in his arm. The bolt threw him backwards and against the front door, where he hit his head on a light.
While on the ground, he was able to bang on the door and get the attention of his sister who was inside. She called 911.
"Afterwards my whole body was on fire and I literally lost control completely of my whole body," said Borriello. "I was almost convulsing, it was an intense moment. And my family was here and they're seeing it, so it was pretty nerve-wracking."
Northport Police and Fire Department personnel responded to the scene and observed burn marks on the victim's hands. Borriello also complained of a tingling sensation in his legs.
He was taken to Huntington Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and after a series of tests which all came back normal, he was treated and released.
"It's still kind of sinking in. I haven't slept since I left the hospital. It's been an odd experience," Borriello said.
He says he is happy to be alive, and says the first thing he did after being discharged from the hospital was to buy two lottery tickets.
The odds of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 1,222,000 in a given year, according to the National Weather Service.
Northport police are using the incident to remind residents about the dangers of lightning.
They stress the importance of seeking shelter in a secure structure during a lightning storm and remaining in that structure until the storm passes.
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