Eight hikers were injured when lightning suddenly struck their trail path in Colorado over the weekend, according to search and rescue officials.
On June 30, the Douglas County Search and Rescue shared a post about the incident on Facebook, and said it occurred around 3 p.m. MDT on the Devil’s Head Trail in Douglas County, Colorado. Eight hikers reported that they were hurt following the incident and were shocked when the bad weather came out of nowhere, Fox News reported.
“It was easily the scariest thing that will probably ever happen in my life. I think from when it first started precipitating to when we all took shelter and got struck — it was like 10 minutes,” Sydney Copeland, who was part of the group, told FOX31 News in an interview. “The girl behind me, I think she got struck and it traveled through my boyfriend to me. She fell forward and was paralyzed pretty instantly.”
Following the lightning strike, one of the hikers had to travel about 1.5 miles to find phone service and call 911. Many agencies responded to the incident and found all the members of the group breathing and not unconscious. Seven hikers were able to get out of the trail on their own, however, another hiker was evacuated out of the area “via a litter carry” and transported to the hospital, where she was treated for critical lightning strike injuries.
This isn’t the first concerning incident with lightning in the U.S.: Last month, a motorcyclist died after a lightning bolt hit the top part of his helmet while he was riding on a Florida interstate. Unfortunately, the driver lost control of his 2018 Harley Davidson, went of the highway, and was thrown off his motorcycle due to the lightning strike.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were approximately 20 deaths due to lightning strikes last year, with the most deaths reported in Florida and Tennessee.