Man struck by lightning in Uinta Mountains
July 31, 2012
A man was transported by a medical helicopter from the Uinta Mountains on Saturday after he was struck by lightning.
According to Summit County Detective Sergeant Ron Bridge, an emergency call was received by Uintah County Dispatch Center in Wyoming on Saturday afternoon reporting a man was struck by lightning near Amethyst Lake in the High Uintas, near Christmas Meadows.
Bridge said that Summit County’s Search and Rescue Team began to respond to the area on horseback but a medical helicopter reached the man first. He was reported to be in critical condition.
"A medical helicopter responded to the scene and stabilized the victim so our teams turned back," he said.
According Cathy Cooper, a paramedic with Intermountain Life Flight who responded to the call, AirMed was the first to respond to the scene but had to land about a mile from the victim and hike in. Life Flight was dispatched at that time, about 15 minutes behind AirMed, and found a safe landing zone a few yards from the victim.
"We brought hoist gear just in case we were unable to land close to the man, but luckily we found a safe place close by," she said. "There were a lot of bystanders nearby and the AirMed paramedics hiked in so we had help stabilizing the man and carrying him to the helicopter."
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Cooper added that the victim’s sister and dog were with him at the time. His sister was unharmed but his dog had been killed by the lightning strike.
"As we were flying in, we observed the storm cell moving across the Uintas," Cooper said. "It isn’t uncommon for storms like that to move through the Uintas but luckily it didn’t interfere with us being able to land. The helicopter we took is very powerful so we can land at high elevations and in small spots."
Cooper said no one else was injured and she was grateful that AirMed’s crews were there to help. The victim was transported to the University of Utah Medical Center.
The name and condition of the man were not released as of Tuesday.