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German Visitor Killed By Lightning

Bryce Canyon National Park

National Park News

An international visitor was killed by lightning along the Rim Trail between Sunrise and Sunset Points on the afternoon of Thursday, August 18th. The victim has been identified as Volker Kunz, 51, from Hamm, Germany. Kunz and his family were on the Rim Trail near Sunset Point when a rapidly developing thunderstorm approached the area. The family began returning to their vehicle to seek shelter from the rain. Kunz sought refuge under a large ponderosa pine, which was struck by lightning while he was under it. Family members ran to the Bryce Canyon Lodge nearby to call for help. A registered nurse and her husband, visiting from Washington State, were first on the scene and determined that Kunz had no pulse. They immediately began performing CPR. Park rangers and Garfield County emergency medical technicians soon arrived and continued CPR. Attempts to revive him continued while he was transported by ambulance to Garfield Memorial Hospital in Panguitch, Utah, 25 miles away. Hospital staff took over care of the patient but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. The last lightning-caused fatality in the park was in 2004.



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