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Three hikers are injured and one was killed by a lightning strike on Mt. Yale earlier this afternoon.


Salida, Colorado


For Immediate Release.

Three hikers are injured and one was killed by a lightning strike on Mt. Yale earlier this afternoon.

The incident took place just above tree line, at approximately 12,400 feet, on the Mt. Yale Trail. Initial reports indicated that two people were struck and injured; however, responders were later able to confirm that four persons were struck, with two of the victim’s being in critical condition. Due to the ruggedness and steepness of the trail, it took responders several hours to reach the location of the injured people. Two of those struck reported that they lost consciousness for approximately three to five seconds, but otherwise felt no lasting effects. These two were able to hike out on their own after speaking with rescuers, and were evaluated by EMS personnel at the trailhead and released. They were from the Colorado Springs area, but were not part of the same group as the other two who were struck.

A 32 year old Denver man was evacuated by Flight For Life from the scene of the lightning strike and taken to Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs; he was in critical but stable condition. The fourth victim, also from the Denver area, was a 31 year old female who was pronounced deceased on the mountain by the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office at 8:10 p.m.

It is believed that the lightning strike occurred sometime between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m.; however, there is no cell service in the area, so witnesses hiked from the area, then drove to where they could call 911. The first call came in at 2:05 p.m. Search and Rescue personnel and EMS personnel were immediately dispatched to the area.

Twenty Six members from the Chaffee County Search and Rescue North responded to this incident and were assisted by Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office.