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Man survives lightning strike during family vacation

By Devon Dolan   |  Posted Aug 28th, 2013 @ 11:04pm


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CEDAR CITY— A Cedar City family set out for a week-long camping trip, but their relaxing getaway almost turned deadly when a storm rolled in and lightning struck Saturday.

Gregg Richey said the first thing he did when it started hailing was open the awning. There was a big bang and a flash, and he said the last thing he remembers was holding his elbow.

Gregg was hit by one billion volts of electricity, and he said he feels he cheated death.

"When I look back, I think God kept me alive for another purpose," Gregg said.

But for mere seconds, his family said they weren't so sure — Gregg's heart had stopped and he wasn't breathing. Gregg's father, Bob Richey, started chest compressions to revive him, but even though Gregg said he could see his dad over him, he couldn't feel the compressions.

"I had the phone in my hand and even though it was dead I was screaming at it to work because I was so afraid," Gregg's son Jake said.

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When Gregg regained consciousness he said he wanted to continue hunting, but his family convinced him to go to the emergency room.

Gregg had lost feeling in his legs, his face was burned and he said his eyes felt like they were on fire. He spent one night in the hospital, but is back at work a few days later even though he hasn't yet regained full use of his legs.

"They feel like I went up and down a mountain six to eight miles and they feel like spaghetti," Gregg said.

However, this may be a small hardship to endure compared to what Gregg's son said he thought they were going to lose.

"Everything I know I've learned from him, and it would have been hard to lose him," Grant Richey said of Gregg.

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