DENVER (CBS4) – Two brothers who were hiking near a newlywed couple who were struck by lightning while hiking on Mount Yale last Friday say they tried to help after the strike.
Kathleen “Katie” Bartlett, 31, was hiking on Friday with her newlywed husband Ryan Pocius, 32, when a lightning bolt struck them both. Bartlett died from the strike. Pocius was injured and is now recovering at home. The couple had been married for only a week.
Chip and Craig Lane summited Mount Yale just before 1 p.m. and along with Bartlett and Pocius were attempting to get down as a storm rolled in.
“We looked across the valley and saw the storm just coming in, the storm was very far away,” Chip Lane said.
They started jogging down the trail to get to the bottom.
“Katie and Ryan were running down right behind us, so we decided to let them pass,” Craig Lane said.
Moments later lightning struck and knocked them all out. Chip, who is an Eagle Scout, was the first to wake up.
“I see three bodies on the ground,” Chip said.
After waking up his brother and Pocius they then turned their attention to Bartlett.
“Her clothes and shoes were pretty much off of her, burnt and what not,” Chip said.
All three did CPR on Bartlett but she didn’t survive.
The brothers did visit Pocius in the hospital and say the couple is never far from their minds.
“I think about it all the time still, about what happened up there,” Chip said. “It’s a life event we’re never going to forget.”
Bartlett’s friends and family have started a GoFundMe page to honor her memory. So far it’s brought in more than $6,600 that will go to charities benefiting special needs children and Bartlett’s other passion — nature. The funds will also go towards a memento of some sort to Bartlett at the Denver Botanic Gardens, where the couple was married.