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Lightning kills two in two days in Colorado park

Traveling some 50,000 miles per second duo lightning bolts streak from energy charged clouds and strike the horizon near Newman Lake in Eastern Washinton.   (Brian Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)
Traveling some 50,000 miles per second duo lightning bolts streak from energy charged clouds and strike the horizon near Newman Lake in Eastern Washinton. (Brian Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)

OUTDOOR HAZARDS -- Lightning storms beat the odds over the weekend, killing two and injuring at least 10 in Rocky Mountain National Park.

A woman was killed by a lightning strike on Friday and then on Saturday in the same area another person was killed, a park official said.

A group of people were struck by lightning at 1:30 p.m. (MDT) Saturday in the Rainbow Curve area along Trail Ridge Road about 11,000 feet up, and one man died on the way to a nearby medical center, Rocky Mountain National Park said in a statement. Three others were injured and transported by ambulance to the hospital, but others in the area may also have been hurt and sought treatment on their own.

On Friday, Rebecca R. Teilhet, 42, from Yellow Springs, Ohio, was killed and seven others were hurt when lightning struck on the Ute Crossing Trail at roughly 11,400 feet up, the park said. 
 
"We can't emphasize enough that when it starts to get dark and the clouds are forming, it's time to get down," Martin Koschnitz, the hospital's medical director, told NBC station KUSA of Denver. "My understanding is this group (on Friday) was actually in the process of doing that and still got caught. This is really a sad thing." 
 
Click here to read a good briefing for hikers on lightning hazards and precautions in the Rockies and other high mountain areas.
 
 



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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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