1 hiker killed, 1 injured when struck by lightning in Boulder County

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A hiker was killed Sunday when he was struck by lightning in Boulder County early Sunday afternoon.

The man was hiking the popular Bear Peak Trail southwest of Boulder with his wife when a storm rolled in shortly before 1 p.m. Medical personnel believe the husband, 36, took a direct strike on his upper back. The wife, 37, was injured by the electrical current. The couple was a quarter-mile up the trail at the time of the incident.

Sister station KCNC reports another hiker found the couple and was attempting CPR when two park rangers showed up. The rangers took over CPR and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to bring the man's pulse back. They were briefly successful and the man's heart was beating when he was airlifted out of the park. He later died at a hospital.

The couple has only been identified as being from Denver.

According to the National Weather Service, the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are 1 in 1,171,000. Only about 10 percent of people who are struck by lightning are killed, leaving 90 percent with various degrees of disability.

Between 1959-2017, Colorado was ranked fourth in the nation for lightning fatalities, according to the National Weather Service. As of 2018, El Paso County was ranked first statewide for lightning casualties (fatalities and injuries).

The National Weather Service says in an average year, about 500,000 lightning flashes hit the ground in Colorado. Click here for more information.