Swimming instructor jolted by nearby lightning strike in Lauderdale Lakes

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue says 27-year-old woman conscious, alert

LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. – A 27-year-old swimming instructor was taken to a hospital after she was jolted by a nearby lightning strike, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said.

The woman, identified as Lauren Potts, was conscious and alert when rescuers arrived at the Lauderdale Lakes Swimming Pool Complex on Northwest 39th Street.

She was taken to Florida Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale and has since been released. 

"I felt a jolt through my left arm where I was holding the umbrella and I kind of couldn't move," Potts said. "I think I'm definitely blessed and I have angels looking over me. I definitely feel like I was in good favor." 

According to authorities, Potts had been sitting in her car, waiting for the rain to let up when she decided to walk into the building.

"She was sitting in her vehicle to allow the rain to pass. Once the rain passed, she took her umbrella and headed into the building, and before she could get into the building, she was struck," city spokeswoman Marna Mobley said.

Authorities said lightning struck a cement pole nearby, and the jolt traveled through the ground to where the woman was walking.

Potts made it inside the building, where she suddenly felt dazed.

"Of course, she was a little shaken up, first of all, and then she mentioned that she had a little issues with her right side -- you know, a little nervousness with her right side," Mobley said. 

Mobley said Potts has worked for the city for six years.

Authorities said about six Floridians are killed annually by lightning. 

"Let this close call be a reminder that anytime there's lightning, anytime you hear thunder or see lightning or even see dark clouds -- we're heading into the rainy season now -- seek shelter," Jachles said. 


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