Hiker Struck by Lightning Expected to Live

Hiker Struck by Lightning Expected to Live

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A hiker is expected to recover from a lightning strike to his head.

Richard Kadlec, 26, of Salt Lake City, was 10,500 feet up 11,750-foot Mt. Timpanogos watching Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep when the bolt struck him Friday morning.

He was rescued and transported by a Life Flight helicopter to the burn trauma unit at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, said Utah County Sheriff's office Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

"He was struck in the head and (the bolt) exited his left ankle," Cannon said. He described Kadlec's injuries as "pretty significant."

The sheriff's office received a report from another hiker that Kadlec was waving and yelling for help in the Robert's Horn area on the north face of Mt. Timpanogos. It wasn't until Life Flight lowered a paramedic to the victim that rescuers realized what happened, Cannon said.

"He was moving about some, but not actively," he said.

A sheriff's airplane and a U.S. Forest Service helicopter assisted in locating the victim, Cannon said.

Life Flight hoisted Kadlec into the helicopter then moved him to an area near Emerald Lake on the mountain, where he was stabilized before the helicopter transported him to the burn trauma unit.

Lightning has killed three people in Utah this year. A bolt killed a 20-year-old woman from Rosemont, Pa., who was hiking with her grandparents near Deadhorse Lake in the High Uintas on Aug. 14. A West Jordan husband and wife, Rick and Lisa Goff, were waiting out a storm with their children at Crystal Lake in the Uintas when they were struck and killed while sitting under a tree on July 19.

Last year a couple was struck and killed atop Lone Peak, east of Draper, in Salt Lake County. They were caught in a fast-moving storm.

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

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