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Rocky Mountain National Park Hiker Struck By Lightning

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avatar Rocky Mountain National Park Hiker Struck By Lightning
August 05, 2010 03:53PM
Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Hiker Struck By Lightning Rescued By Park Staff

Rangers received a phone call late yesterday morning reporting an injured man on Longs Peak. He’d been found by hikers in the area of The Narrows at roughly 13,800 feet. According to the initial reports, the 31-year-old Minnesota man had hiked to the peak the day before and spent an unplanned night in the backcountry. He was conscious and able to walk slowly with assistance, but was unable to recall what had caused his injuries. As a trail crew headed to his location, dispatch received additional calls from visitors who reported that they were helping the man down the trail and were also providing him with dry clothing, food and water. The crew reached him in early afternoon at The Ledges. Based on an assessment of his injuries, including numerous burns, it was determined that he’d been struck by lightning sometime late on Tuesday. The trail crew provided immediate care and got the man to the Agnes Vaille shelter, where they waited out an intense storm with lightning, hail, heavy rains and low temperatures. They then resumed their slow hike down the trail and connected with rangers at The Boulderfield around 4 p.m. The rangers provided him with emergency medical care. He was then littered to a location where a medevac helicopter was able to pick him up and take him to St. Anthony Central. About 35 people were involved with this rescue, including a paramedic from Estes Park Medical Center.
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