Lightning Strikes Three Killing Two

Fredonia AZ—Yesterday at about 3:00 pm a bolt of lightning struck in the area of the LeFevre  Scenic Overlook at MP 590.4 on Highway 89A about eight miles north of Jacobs Lake. Two visitors from a foreign country were pronounced dead at the scene and a non-related minor received non-life-threatening injuries. This highlights the dangers that thunderstorms represent.

A group of people were standing in the area of the overlook when a man and wife from out of the country were struck and later pronounced deceased at the scene.  A third victim who is a male minor also was struck by the lightning and knocked to the ground.  He was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries.  He was transported to an area hospital by Kane County Utah Medical Transport.  The child was not associated with the two deceased victims and was traveling with several adult guardians.

After the lighting strike several other people at the overlook called the Kane County 911 Dispatch Center on their cell phones and reported the incident.  Dispatchers sent the Kane County Ambulance and notified the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.  The two deceased victims were transported to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office located in Flagstaff.

Names of the two deceased victims are being withheld pending next of kin notification.  This investigation is being continued by Sheriff’s Detectives and the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Department recommends the following when thunderstorms are present. Chance of thundershowers exist through Saturday in the 40% to 50% range.

Lightning Safety Tips

Plan in advance your evacuation and safety measures. When you first see lightning or hear thunder, activate your emergency plan. Now is the time to go to a building or a vehicle. Lightning often precedes rain, so don’t wait for the rain to begin before suspending activities.

IF OUTDOORSAvoid water. Avoid the high ground. Avoid open spaces. Avoid all metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors, power tools, etc. Unsafe places include underneath canopies, small picnic or rain shelters, or near trees. Where possible, find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck or a van with the windows completely shut. If lightning is striking nearby when you are outside, you should:

Crouch down. Put feet together. Place hands over ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.

Avoid proximity (minimum of 15 ft.) to other people.

IF INDOORS Avoid water. Stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone. Take off headsets. Turn off, unplug, and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools, & TV sets. Lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines, inducing shocks to inside equipment.

SUSPEND ACTIVITIES for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.

INJURED PERSONS do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Apply First Aid procedures to a lightning victim if you are qualified to do so. Call 911 or send for help immediately.