Father, daughter injured by lightning strike in Fillmore

Used for illustrative purposes only, this photo shows a lightning storm in St. George, Utah, July 10, 2018 | Photo by Michael Klunker, St. George News
ST. GEORGE — A man and his juvenile daughter were struck by lightning Thursday evening while attending a youth group activity in Fillmore, authorities said.

Devan Chavez, a spokesman for Utah State Parks, said the injured duo were part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church group participating in a multiday youth conference that included overnight camping on the grounds of the Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum in downtown Fillmore.

Chavez said the incident occurred at approximately 8 p.m., during a sudden rainstorm. A bolt of lightning struck the ground near the statehouse, injuring a man and his daughter, Chavez said.

“The father and the daughter were transported by ground to the hospital, then they were airlifted to Salt Lake City last night,” he said.

The Millard County Sheriff’s Office posted a statement on Facebook Friday morning giving a few additional details about the incident.

“Nearby EMTs responded and CPR was quickly rendered to the father, who regained a pulse but required artificial respiration during transport to the hospital,” the statement said. “The daughter regained a disoriented consciousness and was also transported by a second ambulance. Both patients were subsequently transferred north by air for specialty care.”

Friday afternoon, the sheriff’s office updated the post to say the man did regain some consciousness during the flight to Salt Lake City, along with additional information about the girl’s injuries.

“We’ve received information that the young lady involved has a damaged eardrum and suffers from first degree burns.” the update said, adding, “Her father regained some consciousness during the medical flight.”

Chavez said as of Friday afternoon, both father and daughter are continuing to receive medical care in Salt Lake. He did not have specific details on their conditions but said, “Considering what they’ve been through, they’re doing okay.”

In addition to the injured father and his daughter, a third person, a  juvenile girl unrelated to the two people who were struck, was also taken to the hospital for evaluation Thursday night and later released.

“She was transported as a precaution, but she’s okay,” Chavez said, adding that the girl was not hit by the lightning bolt.

Chavez encouraged those who are recreating outdoors to be mindful and aware of the risks of lightning and other natural dangers.

“All these places in Utah are so beautiful and so great, but with any outdoor recreation, there is always some inherent risks,” he said. “So when you see lightning, or you see anything that might be dangerous in any scenario, just err on the side of caution.

“Not that these individuals did anything wrong or if there’s anything that they could have done, but just everyone, be careful. Our thoughts are with the family at this time.”

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