Two Deadly Lightning Strikes in Two Days at National Park in Colorado

By Kevin Byrne, Staff Writer
July 15, 2014; 7:00 PM ET
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One person was killed and three were injured after a lightning strike at Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park Saturday around 3:30 p.m. local time ABC News reports. This comes one day after another strike occurred in the park on Friday, leaving one woman dead and seven injured.

According to ABC News, park spokesperson Kyle Patterson said that four people were taken to Estes Park Medical Center, about 37 miles from Boulder, Colorado, but one man died of his injuries.

Patterson said the incident occurred along the park's heavily traveled Trail Ridge Road.

Lightning (Photo/LukaTDB/iStock/Thinkstock) Meteorologist Stephen Travis said the weather on Saturday was a combination of daytime heating instability and a slow-moving cold front that crossed through the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

"It brought about several intense, slow-moving thunderstorms that, in addition to frequent lightning, were also responsible for several reports of torrential rainfall and flash flooding, predominantly in the southwestern suburbs of Denver," Travis said.

Spotty thunderstorms are a possibility for the rest of the weekend into the start of the new week, Travis said.

"While isolated heavy rains are still a possibility, widespread flooding and frequent lightning are not expected to be a widespread concern given that the front will be clear to the east and monsoonal moisture will be the dominant driving factor," he said.

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The incident on Friday occurred around 1 p.m. on the Ute Crossing Trail, according to a report from KDVR in Denver.

These were the first reported lightning-related fatalities this year in Colorado. The death toll in 2014 from lightning strikes is now at 12 according to the National Weather Service.


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