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Two Visitors Hit And Injured By Lightning

Petrified Forest National Park

National Park News

On August 23rd, park dispatch received a report of a visitor having been struck by lightning on the Crystal Forest trail. Park protection staff responded and found that two visitors – a 58-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy – had either been struck directly or indirectly by a lightning strike. The man remembered running with the boy back to the parking lot to get away from the heavy rain and lightning. He next remembered lying on the ground with several lacerations to his head and face.  The boy was in pain and unable to speak. His ball cap and shoe were shredded by the strike. Air evacuation was not possible due to the electrical storm, so they were transported by ground ambulance to a helicopter outside of Holbrook, Arizona, and flown from there to Flagstaff Medical Center. The boy improved and was able to start limited verbal communication after receiving pain medication on the ambulance.  This was the first reported lightning strike injury at the park in over ten years.



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