Three sisters struck by lightning in Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
The three victims are 2, 7 and 8 years old
Friday afternoon, three sisters from Evanston, Wyoming, were struck by lightning in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest while on a camping trip with their family, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
At about 1:49 p.m., dispatch received a report from a bystander that lightning had struck the victims – ages 2, 7 and 8 – while they were near the shores of Lily Lake, which is located about 10 miles from the Wyoming border.
Lt. Andrew Wright said the father performed CPR on the 7-and-8-year-old girls, reviving them before medical personnel could arrive. They were taken via air ambulance in critical condition to a hospital in the Salt Lake Valley. The third child was transported in a ground ambulance to an Evanston-area hospital in good condition, he said. The lightning strike reportedly occurred at around 1:44 p.m.
Wright said the girls were with their parents on a camping trip, fishing in the lake when the storm rolled in.
“From what was relayed to me from the deputies, as soon as that storm rolled in it was a violent storm with lightning,” Wright said. “The father told them to get away from the water and to lie down near the trees as soon as the lightning cracked and that’s when they were struck.
Wright said deputies, including a Uintah County law enforcement official, were on scene within about 20 minutes. The Sheriff’s Office has had a significant presence in the area over the past week while officials search for a missing Arizona hiker.
“Lightning is a very scary thing,” Wright said. “I personally have always been told to stay away from tall objects and get as low as you can on the ground. The safest thing to do is get in your car and your chances of being injured can be significantly reduced. But, when you are up in the forest your options are pretty limited.”
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.