TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A father and daughter from Chicago were struck by lightning across the street from Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on Saturday.
Nineteen-year-old Ashley Moberg 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 took a turn for the worse Saturday, the game was cut short and fans, including the Mobergs, were heading back to their cars.
“There was a big, bright flash and a loud boom and next thing I know, my ears are ringing,” said Moberg. “I see my dad flying in the air, smacking his head on the ground and I am flying through the air. I actually got blasted out of my shoes and I landed on the pavement. For about 10 seconds, I thought my dad was dead and I thought I was dying.”
John Moberg was knocked unconscious by the strike.
“I didn’t know lightning had hit 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 some time I was able to roll over and talk to Ashley and she let me know that we got hit by lightning.”
A bystander helped call for help.
“He called 911 for us and he stayed all the way until the ambulance picked us up even though the police told him he could leave,” said Moberg.
The father and daughter were hospitalized at Tampa General Hospital Saturday. They were discharged Monday morning just in time to catch their flight back home to Chicago.
“It was terrifying, but we made it through,” the 19-year-old said.
Before heading to the airport, they went back to the parking lot where they were struck by lightning to commemorate their visit with a photo.
Ashley shared a video of their experience in Tampa on social media. The post has since gone viral.
It even got the attention of the team they came to Florida to watch – the New York Yankees.
“They heard about what happened and they were wishing us well recovery and safe travels and they are hooking us up with some autographs and some tickets back in Chicago when they come to visit,” said Ashley.
The father and daughter say they appreciate the kindness of everyone they met along the way.
“We are alive. We are happy. Thank you to all of Tampa. The paramedics, the police, the Yankee administration and the hospital was incredible. Everybody was just phenomenal – five stars all the way,” said Moberg.