Fatal lightning strike happened on anniversary trip

KUSA - On June 14, 1991, Kim Cardwell married the man of her dreams during a thunderstorm. That man was Gregory Cardwell.

"Right after our minister pronounced us husband and wife, there was a huge storm outside and a clap of lightning struck and a huge thunder boomed," Cardwell said. "Greg and I looked at each other and said 'That's God blessing our marriage.'"

The memory of her wedding day brings Cardwell a renewed sense of strength during a time of incredible loss. On Saturday, during an anniversary trip to the mountains, Cardwell's husband, Greg, was killed at Rocky Mountain National Park by a single bolt of lightning. It was the second lightning fatality at the park in two days. Cardwell says she felt 'weird' right before the strike but had no idea danger was looming above.

"The clouds were not like dark storm clouds, they were wispy, little clouds, it came out of nowhere," Cardwell said. "It sounded like a bomb."

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The pair was standing just 10 feet from each other when the lightning hit. The force from the strike knocked Cardwell and several others standing nearby off their feet.

"I was in a daze. I know I stood up and turned and saw my friend on the ground. I thought he had a heart attack or something. I started yelling trying to wake him up," Cardwell said, "I didn't even realize my husband was struck by lightning. When I saw him, I just started screaming for help. I didn't know what to do, I was in shock."

Despite her efforts, Greg never woke up. It's a tough reality Cardwell is starting to accept. She says her strong faith, and the support of her family and friends, is helping her through.

"My husband and I have a huge faith in God, so we know everything that has happened has been his will."

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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