3 children struck by lightning in Uinta Mountains

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SUMMIT COUNTY — Three sisters were struck by lightning at Lily Lake in the Uinta Mountains near the Utah-Wyoming border, according to Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez.

Dispatchers received a call about 1:50 p.m., but the children were struck a little before then as the person calling had to find an area with cell reception.

An 7- and 8-year-old are in critical condition and were transported to a Salt Lake area hospital via medical helicopter, Martinez confirmed. A 2-year-old is in fair condition and was taken to an Evanston, Wyoming hospital in an ambulance.

The 7 and 8-year-old were unconscious after the lightning struck, but their father performed CPR and resuscitated them, according to Summit County Lt. Andrew Wright.

Deputies on scene said at least one of the girls had an entrance wound on her back and an exit wound at the hip.

By 5:30 p.m. Friday, Wright could not provide updates on the girls' conditions, but he said they were expected to survive.

The family of five from Evanston, Wyoming was on a camping trip. The girls were fishing at the shore of Lily Lake when the storm came rolling in quickly with dramatic lightning, Wright said.

The father told the girls to get to an area with trees and lay down, but the lightning struck right where they were, Wright added.

Weather in the High Uintas can be unpredictable and change quickly, he said.

"That's the thing about the Uintas, being up at that high elevation," Wright said. "A storm can come in over the mountain that you don't expect. It can be sunny one minute and a few minutes later you can be stuck in a lightning and rain storm."

No other lightning strikes were reported in the area, he said.

Deputies from Uintah County, Wyoming also responded to the scene.

This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

Contributing: Brianna Bodily, Jacob Klopfenstein

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