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Arizona man's truck goes up in flames after lightning strike during Monday's monsoon storms

Truck in San Tan Valley struck by lightning.jpg
Posted at 5:25 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 22:14:57-04

SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ — Monsoon storms uprooted trees and flooded streets in Phoenix and across the state. But, some of the most bizarre damage happened in San Tan Valley where a man's truck was apparently struck by lightning and shortly after, became overrun with flames.

In fact, there were 33,056 reported lightning strikes across from Valley between 5 p.m. Monday and 2 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

For Richard Lange, his truck experienced one of those strikes firsthand.

"This big old dent right here was where the lightning struck," said Lange, motioning to the slightly caved-in, entirely charred roof. "I actually got up and looked on top of the roof
and there's a small dent with a big white circle."

While he likely won't be able to fully repair the truck, known as "The Big Purple," Lange, a mechanic, said he is going to try and salvage what he can.

"We’re thinking about repurposing the axles, the drive-train underneath. Everything is perfectly fine," he said. "So the dream lives on, so to speak."

Videos shared with ABC15 showed the truck engulfed in flames from the cab to the truck bed.

However, Lange said he feels lucky that it was also raining, which may have prevented a tree that was hanging above the truck from catching fire or worse, his home.