Southern Utah News Articles
Three hikers struck by lightning, one killed
At approximately 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, a 911 call came into the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch from hikers near the summit of Humphreys Peak, with a report that they had been struck by lightning.
At least one hiker was reported to be unresponsive. Due to severe and continuous lightning on the peaks, emergency responders were staged at Agassiz Lodge and coordinated with the hikers to get them to safety.
Wade Young, age 17, of Tempe, Arizona, is confirmed deceased after being struck by lightning. Two other males, 18-year-old David Lyons and an unidentified 17-year-old, were transported to Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) with injuries that were likely received due to their proximity to the lightning strike.
The two injured hikers were conscious and walking when emergency responders reached them around 4 p.m. The hikers and rescue teams met up with medics staged in the Snowbowl parking area around 5:15 when they were transported to FMC. The three hikers are from the Tempe area.
On Thursday around dusk, an Arizona DPS Air Rescue Helicopter pilot out of Kingman, a Coconino County Sheriff’s Office deputy, and a Coconino Sheriff’s SAR member recovered the body of the 17-year-old victim of Wednesday’s lightning strike near the summit of Humphreys Peak.
Lightning: what you
need to know
•No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!
•If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
•When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the windows rolled up.
•Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.
Indoor lightning safety
•Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
•Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
•Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
•Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.
Last resort outdoor
risk reduction tips
If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk:
•Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks.
•Never lie flat on the ground.
•Never shelter under an isolated tree.
•Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
•Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water.
•Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.).