Skip to main content

Lightning strikes in Colorado park kill 2 people in 2 days

By Ralph Ellis, CNN
July 13, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Strikes happened on trails in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • NEW: A man died, three others injured Saturday
  • NEW: On Friday, a woman from Ohio was killed, 10 injured
  • Hikers urged to be aware when storm clouds gather, they should head to lower ground

(CNN) -- Lightning strikes killed two people in two days in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, said Kyle Patterson, public information officer at the park.

Both strikes hit the people on trails off Trail Ridge Road at elevations of 10,829 and 11,400 feet, Patterson said.

On Saturday afternoon, lightning hit four people near Rainbow Curve trail, he said. They were taken by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center where one man died, he said. The man was not identified.

On Friday, lightning hit eight people on the Ute Crossing Trail, about 500 feet from the trailhead, Patterson said.

Rebecca R. Teilhet, 42, of Yellow Springs, Ohio, died on the scene, Patterson said.

An air ambulance landed during periods when the weather broke and two others, including her husband, were taken to Estes Park Medical Center, he said.

Five of the other hikers transported themselves to the medical center.

The park 75 miles from Denver had not had a lightning death since 2000, when a technical climber was struck on the Diamond on Longs Peak, Patterson said.

Dr. Martin Koschnitzke, of the Estes Park Medical Center, speaking to CNN affiliate KUSA, urged walkers to be aware of changing weather conditions.

"We can't emphasize enough that when it starts getting dark and clouds are forming, it's time to get down," he said. "My understanding is this group was actually in the process of doing that and still got caught, which is really a sad thing."

Fire lieutenant resuscitated after lightning strike in Ohio

Part of complete coverage on
Severe weather
April 26, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Here are 10 facts about one of nature's most powerful forces.
August 7, 2013 -- Updated 1446 GMT (2246 HKT)
Get a glimpse of the weather events happening around the world by clicking through our photo gallery.
February 9, 2013 -- Updated 1057 GMT (1857 HKT)
In our increasingly digital world, a mobile phone or other portable device is often a one-stop communication device.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 2339 GMT (0739 HKT)
Water jugs and batteries are not the only things to consider when extreme weather threatens.
can opener
All you need to know about keeping your food safe to eat and what to have on hand in the event of a weather emergency.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Getting the latest warnings when tornadoes are headed your way and knowing what to do before, during and after one hits are all key to staying safe. A handful of apps can help you stay on top of impending dangerous weather.
May 30, 2013 -- Updated 1531 GMT (2331 HKT)
You've just that heard a tornado is headed directly toward you. You don't have a safe room, and you're not near a shelter. Do you hunker down and hope for the best or do you flee?
April 27, 2014 -- Updated 1531 GMT (2331 HKT)
Here are the 10 deadliest tornadoes to touch down in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
July 17, 2013 -- Updated 2307 GMT (0707 HKT)
Weather experts agree: When lightning strikes, it's best to go indoors.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 2011 GMT (0411 HKT)
A tornado is a funnel-shaped cloud that forms under thunderclouds and contains rapidly rotating air.
ADVERTISEMENT