One killed, seven injured by lightning in Rocky Mountain National Park

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK -- A lightning strike killed one woman and injured seven other people inside Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday, park officials said.

The strike occurred shortly after 1 p.m. on the Ute Crossing Trail, officials said. Eight people suffered a variety of injuries, including one woman who died at the scene.

The people were all Colorado residents hiking together.

Of the remaining seven, two were transported by ambulance and five transported themselves to the Estes Park Medical Center, park officials said.

Four of the victims were treated and released. The other three remained hospitalized, but were expected to survive.



  • Robert Gift

    Wow. Just as the Lighting Data Center meeting at St. Anthony Hospital was concluding.
    Those interested in preventing lightning and electrical deaths and mishaps are welcome to attend.
    The LDC meeting is every 2nd Friday of the month at the new St. Anthony Hospital from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

      • Robert Gift

        ^ No. I am the only EMS person there. Anyone interested is welcome.
        There are electrical engineers, RNs, physicians, mountain rescue people, meteorologists, etc.
        (CME credits for those who can use them!)
        People who have been hit by lightning or have encountered electrical mishaps are also welcome to share their experiences.
        The Lightning Data Center had a website but it is down while moving to the hospital’s new system.

  • CoPatriot

    I can tell you from experience that people do not exercise common sense when hiking here. You HAVE to get down from the higher elevations before noon every day (sometimes sooner). If you hear thunder, see clouds building and certainly if you see lightning (even in the distance), START DOWN! I cannot tell you how many times my husband and I have been coming down from a hike and hustling to get back to the TH b/c the clouds are building and there will be people just starting up the trail when we get to the bottom. I’ve seen people start up trails when it is currently thundering and lightning! Once we got down just in the nick of time and just as we were getting in the car, a huge lightning bolt struck within 100 yards. We had just passed people just starting to hike up that trail. A little common sense goes a long way people!

  • Brenn

    Lightning is one of my biggest fears… I freak when its sprinkling and hot..I’ve def noticed an increase in lightning with the light rainand heat

  • Samantha

    Condolences to the family!
    I was recently sitting out watching the storms and there was several stikes all over the sky. ..I was in my husband’s truck. .. he had the topper off…I figured I was safe. .. But I ended up getting struck from the lightning. ..I have a bulleyes burn on my booty and it actully burned a hole into my new pants too… so ill stay safe inside from now on!
    Speedy recovery to all involved!
    God bless!
    And remember don’t mess with mother nature!

    • Robert Gift

      ^ Wow, Samantha! Where were you in the truck? Inside the cab? Or in the bed where the topper was off.
      Usually one is quite safe in a metal-skinned vehicle because the electrical current is conducted safely around the occupant.
      See: “Faraday Cage”.
      Please feel welcome to come to the Lightning Data Center meeting and share your experience and thoughts.

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