Direct Lightning Strike Kills Man Hiking on Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder, CO

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Lightning above a mountain. Credit: Layne Lawson | Unsplash

Two hikers were struck by lightning on a peak in Boulder County, CO killing one and injuring the other. The 36-year-old man died while his 37-year-old wife sustained non-life threatening injuries Sunday on Flagstaff Mountain.

According to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, the husband and wife were hiking on Bear Creek Trail at around 1 pm on Sunday afternoon when the strike occurred. The man is believed to have been directly struck on his upper body, and his wife is believed to have been hit by ancillary electrical current. Following the strike, the man was reported to be unconscious, not breathing, and a passerby started CPR.

Officials say a call was made to 911 around 1 pm notifying authorities. Rescue personnel arrived and found the injured couple about a quarter-mile up from the Bear Creek trailhead 37 miles northwest of Denver. The man was transported via helicopter to a local hospital where he died. The woman was transported to the hospital by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

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Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder, CO

7,283-foot Flagstaff Mountain is a popular mountain in the Boulder area that’s located close to downtown Boulder. It’s known for offering great views of the surrounding mountains and nearby city.

If you’re out on the trail and lightning rolls in, it’s important to know what to do. Get low, seek SAFE shelter (avoid rocky overhangs, tents, and tall trees), and create space between those in your party. Lightning generally occurs in the afternoon, so it’s advised that you’re already making your descent before noon.


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