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Full recovery expected for man struck by lightning

Published On: May 11 2013 09:48:26 AM MDT

Authorities say a 22-year-old ranch hand struck by lightning while moving irrigation pipe near Stevensville is expected to make a full recovery.
Diego Ramirez was struck Thursday. After being unconscious for as long as 30 minutes he was able to get on his motorcycle and ride to a co-worker. He was then flown by helicopter to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
Ramirez's employer, Matt Pendergast, tells the Ravalli Republic (http://bit.ly/10zFdBd) the lightning followed the wires on an iPod Ramirez was wearing and resulted in perforated eardrums.
No one saw the lightning strike. Pendergast says he thinks it probably hit the pipe Ramirez was carrying.
Reports indicate skies overhead were clear at the time.
National Weather Service meteorologist Luke Robinson says a storm 20 miles away can result in a nearby lightning strike.