FILLMORE, Utah — Three people are recovering from a lightning strike at a Utah State Park — two of them in the hospital.
It happened Thursday evening outside the Territorial Statehouse State Park museum in Fillmore. A Utah State Parks official confirms lightning struck a father and his daughter. They were both taken to a nearby hospital. And another teenage girl was also taken to the hospital.
The storms were rolling in between 8 and 9 pm. A bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told KSL TV on the scene that there were teens from several wards there for a youth conference. He says he was about 100 yards away when that lightning struck near a big tree.
“Heard a big crack and buzz and everybody started scattering,” said Scott Hartley. “And then you’ll realize something and we saw some people on the ground and we went down to see what was going on and they took the young lady in the building and we got the gentleman in the cabin over there out of the rain so they could work on them.”
The Millard County Sheriff’s Office said the father initially required CPR and artificial respiration, but regained consciousness on the way to the hospital. The daughter suffered a damaged eardrum and first degree burns.
Hartley believed the other girl may have been in shock and was checked out and released.
The National Weather Service says in the last ten years, 6 people have been killed from lightning strikes in Utah and 33 people have been injured. Utah officials say there have been 51 deaths and 131 injuries in Utah since 1950 due to lightning.
“We’re lucky,” said Hartley, choking up a little. He said he believed the groups who were with the father and daughter were from Taylorsville, and they went home already.
The Utah Division of Emergency Management says lightning is Utah’s second-deadliest natural hazard, second only to avalanches. Their recommendations for safety include:
Check the weather forecast before going outdoors for extended periods.
Watch (increasing clouds) and listen (thunder) for signs of approaching storms.
If storminess is expected, have a radio or TV with you for updated weather information.
If thunderstorms are imminent, postpone outdoor activities.
Move to safe shelter (sturdy building or a hard top automobile) immediately when a storm approaches! Don’t wait!
DO NOT take cover under isolated trees.
Get out of boats and away from water.
Avoid using the telephone. Use phones ONLY in an emergency.
Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information.
Do not take a bath or shower.
Turn off air conditioners.
Pull the shades and stay away from windows.
If caught outdoors with no shelter, find the lowest spot away from trees, fences, and poles (not where flooding might occur).
If you are in a forested area, take shelter under short trees.
If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!
If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible, and minimize your contact with the ground.
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