Dawn Mervau of Lowell said she was driving near the Kent County community of Dutton on Tuesday morning when she saw a flash and heard an explosion. She said side airbags inflated, the vehicle stalled and she coasted to the side of the road.
Mervau called her husband and 911. Dispatchers told her to get out of the vehicle, a Chevrolet Equinox crossover, as soon as possible — but the power windows and locks didn’t work.
“I couldn’t get out of my car, so I ended up smashing my window,” she said. “I was in a panic mode.”
Firefighters responded after they escaped. Mervau and her son weren’t injured, though she said her son panicked after seeing her reaction to the lightning strike.
“I tried to stay calm, but I was pretty worked up because I couldn’t get out of my car,” she said. “I didn’t think too much. I just did it.”
The lightning strike happened as thunderstorms moved through the area, located about 10 miles southeast of Grand Rapids.