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Sandra Yi reporting A couple is dead and their 3 children injured after being struck by lightning. It happened yesterday evening at a busy campground in the High Uinta mountains. Rick and Lisa Goff died. Their kids, ages 9, 5 and 1, are still recovering at area hospitals.
Lisa Goff's sister says she had an eerie feeling a few weeks ago that something bad was going to happen. Still, what happened yesterday is something she could never have prepared for. Three young kids now left without their parents, and relatives wondering how to cope.
Chris Goff/Rick's Brother: "I STILL CAN'T COMPREHEND THE FACT THAT THEY'RE GONE."
A family tragedy that's twice as painful.
Lori Ostler/Lisa Goff's Sister: "AS I FOUND THE NEWS OUT, I THOUGHT, I CAN DEAL WITH ONE, EITHER ONE OF THEM. I CAN DEAL WITH THAT BUT WHEN BOTH OF THEM ARE TAKEN, IT'S INCREDIBLE."
Rick and Lisa Goff were fatally struck by lightning in a popular hiking and fishing spot in the High Uintas. They died in front of their 3 young children.
Lisa Ostler: "I APPROACHED THE LITTLE ONE, 5 YEAR OLD MACKENZIE AND THE FIRST THING SHE TOLD ME, SHE SAID, MOMMY AND DADDY ARE DEAD. WE WON'T BE GOING BACK HOME."
The family was at Crystal Lake when a violent thunderstorm moved in fast and with little notice. They found shelter under a tree. Rick was standing closest to it. The kids were sitting on lawn chairs. Authorities believe the metal in those chairs saved their lives.
Lori Ostler: "RICK AND LISA TOOK THAT LIGHTNING BOLT AND THE CHILDREN WERE THROWN FROM THE IMPACT."
The kids suffered minor injuries and were airlifted to area hospitals. This camper who did not want to be identified - was nearby. He saw the kids in the aftermath.
Camper: "THESE PEOPLE WERE 100 YARDS AWAY FROM CLEARING. IF THEY HADN'T STOPPED, THEY PROBABLY WOULD HAVE SURVIVED."
Camper: "IT'S A TRAGEDY. THAT'S ALL I CAN SAY."
Relatives are now directing their focus to the children. They say the kids are strong and coping. They hope happy memories of their parents will help their healing.
Chris Goff: "WHENEVER WE SAW THEM TOGETHER AND WITH THEIR FAMILY, I MEAN, IT WAS JUST A MARVELOUS THING TO SEE BECAUSE OF THE LOVE THEY HAD FOR EACH OTHER AND FOR THEIR CHILDREN."
9 year old Dakota and 5 year old Mackenzie may be released from the hospital tonight. 1 year old Megan tomorrow. Relatives say they may stay with their grandparents for now.
Meanwhile, their aunt plans to set up a trust for the 3 kids. You can donate at any Zions Bank starting tomorrow.