BEAVER COUNTY, Utah, July 29, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Two Utah County girls struck by lightning Friday at a family reunion in Beaver County are showing early signs of improvement.
That is the news from Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel, who said the girls, ages 8 and 16, are responding to stimuli, and their doctors are encouraged, although the two were still very seriously injured.
“They are improving significantly,” said Noel, who heard the news from a deputy who is related to the girls. “They were seriously injured, but they were also lucky.”
Noel said in the rush to get information out, one false story got into the news release, which wrongly stated that a dog led family members to the unconscious girls.
“One of the callers stated that, but it has proven to be false,” Noel said.
The truth is that an elderly man was nearby, in the Big Flat area, when he and his family saw the lightning strike close to them, and went to investigate, finding the girls, who had been camping with family members from Payson and Mapleton.
The girls were lucky that three public safety and Life Flight helicopters happened to be close, Noel said, adding that such a circumstance is pretty much unheard of in the rural county. Help reached the girls within 5 to 10 minutes, Noel said.
The girls were first taken by helicopter to Beaver Valley Hospital, and at least one was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. According to the sheriff’s office, at the time they left Beaver Valley Hospital, the 8-year-old was in critical condition and the 16-year-old was in serious but stable condition.
Gephardt Daily will update this story as more information becomes available.