COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– One Colorado couple is happy to be telling their story of survival after they were both struck by lightning.
Zack and Bri Petersen were camping at Eleven Mile State Park near Colorado Springs on Friday when storms rolled in just a few hours later.
“We were starting to cook dinner and the clouds started rolling,” said Bri. “We saw a little bit of lightning and decided that we might need to pack up camp.”
They started to pack up the truck when Bri grabbed a metal chair.
“I picked up the chair and I was like, ‘Oh, I have this horrible feeling. I feel like I shouldn’t be touching this,'” Bri recalled. “So, I just moved it out of the way and not even a second later reached out to open the truck door … the next thing I knew, there was this big flash and I was on the ground and couldn’t move.”
The lightning sent a shock into Zack and through their truck and then into Bri, who had touched the passenger door.
“I came to about 15 feet away from the truck,” said Zack. “I had actually gone over top of a table that was sitting behind me.”
When he came to, Bri was lying on the ground, screaming.
“All of a sudden there’s like horrible burning, like your whole body is on fire. Sharp pains everywhere and then nothing moves,” said Bri.
“Fight or flight instinct kicked in, and I hobbled over to her and I tried to pick her up, but I couldn’t. I had no muscle control whatsoever.”
Zack managed to drive them to the hospital 45 minutes away.
“I knew that I had been hit, but that was the last thing on my mind,” Zack said. “I put the pain out of my head and everything, and I was just like, ‘I have to save Bri. I have to save my wife.’”
They said the feeling of being struck by lightning is like a rush of senses through your entire body.
“You can’t feel anything at first, and then all of a sudden there’s, like horrible burning, like your whole body is on fire,” Bri Petersen said. “Sharp pains everywhere and then nothing moves. You can’t move anything and it all hurts.”
Both of them walked away with minor injuries including a sprained ankle and burns.
“If I hadn’t touched the truck when I did, because the truck has the rubber on it, it would have gone right back into him and probably either blown his hands off or God knows what else,” Bri said.
“I mean, we are walking miracles,” said Zack.
Bri adds, “You realize how much you love the people that you love and how much they love you.”