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Lightning survivor has no memory of deadly strike

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm •  Published: July 14, 2014
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DENVER (AP) — Justin Teilhet doesn't remember hearing a boom or feeling a sting, just waking up numb on the treeless tundra high in Rocky Mountain National Park and discovering his good friend was trying to revive his wife.

It was a lightning bolt, he learned later, and it killed his wife and left him with a burn on his shoulder and a cut on his face when he was knocked to the ground unconscious.

Lightning killed two people last weekend just miles apart in the popular park, where summer storms can close in quickly with deadly results.

Rebecca Teilhet, 42, of Yellow Springs, Ohio, was killed Friday while hiking on the Ute Crossing Trail at about 11,400 feet above sea level. Justin Teilhet and six other hikers were injured.

One day later and a few miles away, lightning killed 52-year-old Gregory Cardwell of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, at Rainbow Curve, a pullover on Trail Ridge Road with sweeping vistas from a vantage point about 10,800 feet above sea level. Three others were hurt by that strike.

They were the first lightning deaths in the park since 2000, officials said.

Thunderstorms occur in the park almost daily during the peak travel months of summer, and many produce lightning.

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