Youth Group Hospitalized After Great Lightning Strike During Utah Hike

By Jun 28, 2024

Youth Group Hospitalized After Great Lightning Strike


Youth-In a harrowing incident that underscores the unpredictability of nature, seven members of a youth group were hospitalized following a lightning strike while they were hiking in eastern Sevier County, Utah. The event, which took place on a seemingly ordinary Thursday afternoon, serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by sudden weather changes.

Youth-The Incident

Youth-On a typical afternoon, the youth group from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salina set out for a hike. The group, comprising around 50 members, embarked on their adventure with anticipation and excitement, unaware of the dramatic turn their outing would soon take. Around 1:45 p.m., as the group made their way through the scenic trails of eastern Sevier County, the weather began to shift. Light rain started to fall, creating puddles along the ground—a seemingly innocuous development that would soon contribute to a life-threatening situation.

Youth-The Lightning Strike

Youth-As the group continued their hike amidst the light rain, a bolt of lightning struck the ground near them. The exact location of the strike was close enough to send a shockwave through the wet ground, impacting the group. The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed that the lightning struck near the group, and the presence of water on the ground amplified the electrical impact.


Youth-Immediate Aftermath

Youth-The sudden and unexpected lightning strike left the youth group in shock. The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office reported that all 50 members of the group felt the shock to varying degrees. However, the impact was more severe for seven individuals who exhibited medical concerns due to the electrocution. The immediate response involved transporting the affected members to Salina for medical evaluation and triage.

Youth-Medical Response

Emergency services swiftly responded to the scene. Ambulances were dispatched to transport the injured to Salina, where they were triaged based on the severity of their symptoms. Of the seven individuals who required medical attention, two were in serious condition and necessitated urgent care. These two were airlifted to a children’s hospital in Lehi to receive specialized treatment. The remaining five individuals, although experiencing less severe symptoms, were still taken to nearby hospitals in Gunnison and Richfield for further evaluation and care.

Extent of Injuries

Despite the alarming nature of the incident, the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office reassured the public that none of the injuries were expected to be life-threatening. This update provided some relief to the families and the wider community, who were anxiously awaiting news about the group’s condition. The quick response by emergency services and the subsequent medical care ensured that all affected individuals received the necessary attention.

Community and Church Response

The local community and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rallied around the affected youth group members and their families. Messages of support and offers of assistance poured in, highlighting the strong community ties in Salina and the surrounding areas. Church officials provided spiritual and emotional support to the group and their families, reinforcing the community’s resilience in the face of such unexpected adversity.

The Dangers of Lightning

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by lightning, particularly during outdoor activities. Lightning strikes can occur with little warning and can have devastating effects, especially in open areas where individuals are more vulnerable. The presence of water, as was the case in this incident, can exacerbate the impact of a lightning strike by conducting electricity more efficiently.

Safety Measures

Experts recommend several safety measures to minimize the risk of lightning strikes during outdoor activities. First and foremost, it is crucial to monitor weather forecasts and be aware of any potential thunderstorms in the area. If lightning is observed or a thunderstorm is imminent, the best course of action is to seek shelter indoors or in a hard-topped vehicle. Avoiding open fields, hilltops, and isolated trees can also reduce the risk of being struck by lightning. Additionally, staying away from water and metal objects, which can conduct electricity, is essential during a thunderstorm.


The lightning strike incident involving the youth group in Sevier County, Utah, is a sobering reminder of nature’s unpredictability and the importance of preparedness. The quick response by emergency services and the community’s support played a crucial role in ensuring that the affected individuals received timely medical care and emotional support. While the injuries sustained were not life-threatening, the incident highlights the need for awareness and precautionary measures during outdoor activities, particularly in areas prone to sudden weather changes.

In the aftermath of this incident, the youth group members, their families, and the broader community are likely to reflect on the experience and the lessons learned. The resilience and solidarity demonstrated by all involved underscore the strength of the community in the face of adversity. Moving forward, this incident will undoubtedly serve as a poignant reminder of the need to respect nature’s power and to always prioritize safety in outdoor endeavors.

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