Woman, horse killed by lightning strike in DougCo

Investigators say-the group was caught between two storms and were trying to get to safety.

KUSA - A lightning strike killed a woman and her horse in Sedalia on Sunday, marking the first death of its kind this year.

According to South Metro Fire Rescue, it happened a few hundred yards behind a home on the 7000 block of Rainbow Creek Road on a community bridle trail. 

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office told 9NEWS a 37-year-old woman was killed just before 3:30 p.m. Her name has not been released.

A 15-year-old girl was found conscious and breathing, but was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Her condition has since improved, but DougCo authorities could not provide more details about her injuries. South Metro says this girl, a family friend, was also riding a horse.

A third rider, the mother of the 37-year-old woman, was far enough away at the time and uninjured. All three women, experienced horseback riders, saw the storms and were looking for a place to meet up. 

“There was a storm about 10 minutes ahead of them and a storm they could see behind them. They were trying to meet in kind of that  sweet spot in-between for the storms that were coming, according to the parties involved," Deputy Jason Blanchard with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said. "Unfortunately they weren't able to catch, which just goes to show how fast storms move within Colorado weather climates.”

Lightning is the number one weather-related killer in Colorado. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says there have been at least two reported lightning strikes in the Denver metro area in the past few days. This was the first lightning-related death of 2017. 

  • As a general guideline, if you can hear thunder, then the storm is too close.
  • Seek shelter inside a hard top vehicle with the windows up, or a substantial structure with electrical and plumbing. 
  • If you do get stranded in the outdoors, do not seek shelter under trees or along metal fences or posts.  

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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