Amy Robach Recalls 4th Of July Lightning Strike That Hit Her Parents, Uncle

Amy Robach has a deep aversion to the Fourth of July — one rooted in personal trauma.

The former “Good Morning America” host was discussing holiday traditions with  T.J. Holmes, a fellow ex-host and her boyfriend, on an episode of their “Amy and T.J.” podcast when she admitted she had a “Debbie downer” story to tell.

lightning strike during an Independence Day gathering at a park left her parents hospitalized and killed her uncle, she recounted.

“It changed the Fourth of July for us,” she said on the podcast this week. “My mom and dad got seriously injured. They were in the hospital for weeks.”

“Their tennis shoes got blown off their feet,” she went on. “Their clothes had to be cut off of them. My dad had to have CPR performed on him, and my uncle Jack, actually, ultimately died. He was up against the tree that [got] hit. ... He just crumbled.”

Robach, who was 14 years old and living in Georgia at the time, has naturally avoided the holiday ever since.

“Lightning kills, and the Fourth of July is one of those holidays where everybody’s out and about, and it tends to be a thunderstorm-heavy holiday,” Robach told Holmes. “Things in my house changed after that. I kind of got into a habit of traveling around the Fourth of July.”

ABC News cut ties with Robach and Holmes in 2023 after their secret romance went public.
ABC News cut ties with Robach and Holmes in 2023 after their secret romance went public. John Nacion/Variety/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 40 million lightning strikes annually hit the ground in the U.S. While the odds of getting struck are less than one in a million — and 90% of victims survive —  444 Americans between 2006 and 2021 died.

Robach, for her part, hasn’t taken part in Independence Day traditions for a long time, though she and Robach might have plans this year. She said she’d never expected to talk about the incident on the show.

“I haven’t even been in the country during the Fourth of July for many, many years,” she said Wednesday.