Thursday, July 18, 2013

Three Hikers Injured in Lightning Strike at Glacier National Park

Three individuals, a male age 23, a female age 23 and a child are believed to have been struck by lightning late yesterday afternoon as they were hiking on the St. Mary Falls Trail on the east side of the Glacier National Park. It's unknown if they are a family unit.

Park dispatch received a call at approximately 4:30 p.m. from a park interpretive ranger reporting that a group of hikers was believed to have been hit by lightning on the St. Mary Falls Trail. The group was approximately three quarters of a mile from the trail head. Bystanders at the scene initiated CPR as park rangers responded to the scene.

ALERT helicopter from Kalispell and Mercy Flight helicopter from Great Falls were requested, and park medics were flown to the scene. Park crews and employees from all areas of the park responded to the incident. Park employees and Glacier County Sheriff’s Office personnel used litters to hand carry each individual to the trailhead near the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Glacier County Sheriff’s Office personnel helped with traffic control on the road. The road was temporarily closed for the incident.

ALERT responded and Mercy Flight was unable to respond due to weather. Glacier County Ambulance from Babb and Browning Ambulance were called and arrived at the scene.

The child was airlifted to Kalispell via ALERT and Glacier County Ambulance transported the two adult patients to Kalispell. ALERT returned and rendezvoused with the ambulance to transport the male patient and the ambulance continued on to Kalispell with the female patient.

A weather system, including wind and rain, moved through the area quickly during the late afternoon.

The condition of the three individuals is unknown at this time. The incident is under investigation by the National Park Service.

This incident also comes on the heels of a lightning strike that injured four visitors standing at Mather Point in the Grand Canyon this past Monday. For information on what you should do if a storm approaches while in the backcountry, please click here.

Hiking in

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