By Tom Mustin
ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – A man was killed after getting struck by lightning on a golf course Tuesday evening.
Golfer Gene Lucero described Tuesday’s deadly storm that hammered the Indian Tree Golf Club in Arvada.
“There were about four strikes we had seen,” Lucero told CBS4’s Tom Mustin. “I saw a bolt of lightning that was right where the golf course is located.”
The fast-moving storm caught golfers by surprise. Sources confirm two 23-year-old men were struck by lightning on the course — Peter Hawkes was killed.
Lucero arrived for his tee time right after the deadly strike.
“Firemen, police and ambulances were there on the course,” said Lucero.
Witnesses say the two men had huddled under a tree when the bolt struck.
“They were as far apart as you and I, two feet away is how it was described to me.”
Inside the clubhouse a man described how he and his daughter tried to help the victim.
“His daughter, who had been a lifeguard at a swimming pool and with knowledge of CPR, applied CPR to the victim,” said Lucero.
Lucero says Hawkes was rushed to the hospital. The other man seemed to be okay.
“He was sitting up in the gurney as he was lifted into the ambulance.”
Golfer Mike Honeyman had finished his round a few hours before the storm. He says a few months ago he too had been caught in a storm on the course. He rode out the storm in one of the course’s shelters.
“We’d teed off on 17, a short Par 3. By the time we got to the green it was covered in hail,” Homeyman said.
Honeyman says the bottom line is when severe weather looms, get inside.
“You’ve got to get out of the lightning. You just can’t take a chance with it.“
• Tuesday’s death is the 15th this year in the United States from lightning, first in Colorado this year
• Colorado averages three deaths and 17 injuries each year from lightning
• Colorado typically sees about 500,000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes each year
• Lightning in Colorado tends to peak in late July and early August due to the daily monsoon storm threat, and the Front Range foothills and Palmer Divide are hot spots for ligthtning
• Lightning can strike more than 10 miles away from thunderstorm