Father and daughter survive lightning strike outside spring training game in Tampa

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Chicago father and daughter were struck by lightning across from Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on Saturday.

Ashley Moberg, 19, and her father John traveled to the area to watch their favorite team – the New York Yankees – for spring training this weekend. When the weather deteriorated on Saturday, the game was cut short and fans, including the Mobergs, returned to their cars.

“There was a big bright flash and a loud boom and the next thing I know my ears are ringing,” Moberg said. “I see my dad flying through the air, banging his head on the ground and I’m flying through the air. In fact, I was thrown from my shoes and landed on the pavement. For about 10 seconds, I thought my father was dead and I thought I was dying.

John Moberg was knocked out by the strike.

“I didn’t know that lightning had struck me. I just woke up with my face in the mud and I couldn’t move. I was 100% paralyzed,” he said. “I thought I had a stroke but with a bit of time I was able to turn around and talk to Ashley and she let me know we had been struck by lightning.”

A passerby helped to call for help.

“He called 911 for us and he stayed until the ambulance came to get us even though the police told him he could leave,” Moberg said.

The father and daughter were hospitalized Saturday at Tampa General Hospital. They were released Monday morning just in time to catch their flight back to Chicago.

Courtesy of Ashley Moberg

“It was terrifying, but we pulled it off,” said the 19-year-old.

Before heading to the airport, they returned to the parking lot where they were struck by lightning to commemorate their passing with a photo.

Ashley shared a video of their Tampa experience on social media. The post has since gone viral.

It even caught the eye of the team they came to watch in Florida – the Yankees.

“They heard about what happened and they wished us a good recovery and a good trip and they gave us autographs and tickets to Chicago when they visited,” Ashley said.

Both father and daughter say they appreciate the kindness of everyone they’ve met along the way.

“We’re alive. We’re happy. Thanks to everyone in Tampa. The paramedics, police, Yankee admin and hospital were amazing. Everyone was phenomenal – five stars the whole way through,” said Moberg.


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