Denver man killed in Boulder County lightning strike, woman injured

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DENVER — A Denver man was killed and his wife injured after he was struck by lightning when the two were hiking near the Bear Peak West Ridge Trail Sunday.

A 37-year-old Denver woman was found around 1 p.m. Sunday, conscious and alert, and her 36-year-old husband was found unconscious after a caller reported two people were struck by lightning, and a passerby had started CPR, according to a news release from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

A ranger from the city of Boulder and a Boulder County ranger took over CPR on the man and used a defibrillator. Although his pulse was re-established at the scene, he later died at the hospital after being evacuated by AirLive, according to the release.

Courtney Wenzel of Rocky Mountain Fire said today’s call was the first lightning call he had in his career.

“They don’t happen very often,” he said.

When he and other emergency personnel arrived on scene, they administered CPR and started the man on an IV drip, Wenzel said.

The man’s wife, Wenzel said, looked shocked.

“As I would expect,” he said. “We’re all kind of shocked to show up on something like that.”

The man was likely hit from a direct lightning strike to his upper body, according to the news release, and his wife was not directly hit, but injured by the electrical current from the strike that hit her husband.

She was treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the release.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office, Rocky Mountain Fire Protection District, Rocky Mountain Rescue, Boulder County Parks & Open Space,  city of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, AMR Ambulance, and the Boulder Fire Department responded to the scene.

The man’s identity has not been released, pending notification of his other family members.

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