ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – For the second day in a row, lightning has been blamed in the death of a visitor at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson says officials were notified late Saturday afternoon of 13 people being struck by lightning near Trail Ridge Road. The injured were rushed to Estes Park Medical Center, but 52-year-old Gregory Cardwell, of Scottsbluff, Neb., died of his injures.
“A bunch of people were just standing around the wall and then this huge bolt of lightning … we didn’t see the bolt, it was just a white flash,” park visitor Mary Iverson said. “It just felt like something hit you in the back of the head and you just kind of jolted forward.”
“I lost my vision and hearing for a solid 10 seconds before it started coming back,” strike survivor Daniel Walenter said.
On Friday afternoon, park officials said lightning killed one woman and injured seven other people. That also occurred near Trail Ridge, which is the nation’s highest continuously paved road.
Patterson said they are the park’s first lightning fatalities since 2000.
A park news release identified the woman who died Friday as 42-year-old Rebecca R. Teilhet, of Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Autopsies will be performed to determine exact cause of death and whether the people were hit directly by lightning or killed from injuries suffered by being so close.
Locations where the two strikes happened were only about 600 feet apart.
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