Little girls struck by lightning, found thanks to family dog, now improving, family says

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The family of two girls struck by lightning in Beaver County Friday morning released a statement late Saturday providing an update on the condition of the girls’ condition, while also thanking those who responded to their aid.

This 2015 file photo is offered for illustration purposes, showing lightning over Southern Utah, Ivins, Utah, July 1, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Kera Evans, St. George News

The girls, ages 8 and 16, were struck by lightning while near Big Flat in the Beaver Mountain area that morning, the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

The girls’ family was attending a family reunion and had gone on an ATV ride with a family dog. After they stopped and took a walk to look around, lightning struck the two and knocked them unconscious.

The family was alerted to the incident when the dog taken with the girls ran back and got family and took them back to where the girls.

Both of the girls were injured by the strike, with the 8-year-old being listed in critical condition and the 16-year-old listed as being in stable yet serious condition. Both were ultimately flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City for care.

The family, who identified themselves as the Osborns, said Saturday that the 8-year-old is still in critical condition, yet “has made steady improvements and is responding to the medical interventions from the staff at Primary Children’s Hospital.”

The 16-year-old has made “great improvements” and is responding well to treatment, the family said.

According to KUTV, a representative with Fishlake National Forest said the lightning struck the 8-year-old first then traveled to her sister.

An employee from Eagle Point Resort was the first to respond and render aid to the girls once the incident was reported over dispatch, KUTV reported.

We as a family are very grateful for all of the good samaritans and first responders who came so quickly to render aid our daughters,” the Osborns said.

The family also said they were grateful for the outpouring of public support, yet they also ask for some time to focus on the healing and immediate needs of the girls as well.

The girls are from Payson and Springville not from Mapleton as originally reported.

The family’s statement is provided in part below.

As a collective family we would like to express our gratitude to the total stranger who stopped to render aid to our two daughters who were victims of the lightning strike in the Tusher (sic) Mountains. We also like to express our deepest appreciation to our family in Beaver County who supported us during this event with selfless acts of kindness.

We as a family are very thankful to all of the good samaritans and first responders who came so quickly to render aid to our daughters. Their heroic efforts and rapid response were very appreciated. We especially want to thank the pilots and flight crews from the Department of Public Safety and Life Flight. Thank you for your selfless care. We hope to personally thank each of you in the future.

We are very thankful for all of the public support, words of kindness, and kind gestures in our daughters’ behalf. As a family we would like to take some time to focus on the healing of these two girls and we would like to ask for some time to focus on their immediate needs.

The Osborns

Lightning safety

What shelter you choose can make all the difference when lightning is active.  The National Weather Service describes both safe and unsafe shelters.

Read more: Fire weather risks increase with incoming storms; lightning safety

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • comments July 30, 2017 at 11:19 am

    1- don’t like to nitpick too much with this sort of thing, but have to object to “Little girls” used in the title

    2- is it possible these children did something to “anger the Lord”? This is mainly a question for you full-on nutters out there.

    3- i wish them the best and fastest recovery possible, esp sad about the younger one.

  • Lastdays July 30, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Hope these girls make a full and speedy recovery.
    Was the dogs name ” Lassie ” by chance ?

  • Foxyheart July 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Yeah, how about a pic of the hero dog?

  • hiker75 July 30, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Agree. A big thank you to a very devoted and smart dog! The family did a great jog raising the dog and including it as family into their lives.

  • knobe July 31, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I’m glad the girls were located & am curious about what breed of dog this was .
    That puppy deserves extra treats And it would be nice to know more about it .

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