Lightning Kills Man at Strawberry Reservoir

Lightning Kills Man at Strawberry Reservoir

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A 64-year-old man was killed by lightning while removing his boat from the water at Strawberry Reservoir, the Wasatch County sheriff's office said.

The man, whose name has not been released pending notification of kin, was in the Soldier Creek campground area, about 64 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, and was removing the boat from the water and loading it onto a trailer when he was struck by lightning about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff's office said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

About 85 lightning strikes occurred within a 15-mile radius of the reservoir area between 5 and 6 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

Meteorologist Dave Sanders said there had been pockets of thunderstorms in Utah since sunrise Wednesday.

Little rain accompanied the thunderstorms, which were expected again Thursday and possibly Friday.

The lightning also started a wildfire in Israel Canyon on the northeast side of Lake Mountain, about 32 miles south of Salt Lake City. The blaze was estimated at 50 to 75 acres, said Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Teresa Rigby. She said about 80 firefighters would be on the blaze Thursday.

Wednesday's death was the fourth lightning fatality in Utah this year.

On July 19, Rick and Lisa Goff of West Jordan were killed while fishing Crystal Lake with their three children. And on Aug. 14, Sarah McCarron, 20, of Rosemont, Pa., was struck while hiking with her grandparents near Deadhorse Lake.

Utah averages about one lightning-caused death per year, making it the second most deadly weather-related hazard in Utah, following avalanches, which have claimed 66 people in the past 53 years.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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