Ohio woman struck, killed by lightning while hiking in Colorado

The 42-year-old was hiking with her husband and a friend when the fatal strike happened.
TNS Regional News
Jul 14, 2014

 

A 42-year-old Yellow Springs woman was killed by a lightning strike on Friday while hiking with her husband and a friend in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Rebecca “Becky” Teilhet, her husband Justin and an unidentified friend, were on or near the Ute Crossing Trail in the park when lightning struck around 1:20 p.m., according to a park news release.

Teilhet’s friend and husband were transported to Estes Park Medical Center. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

Andrea Williams, a Tipp City resident who knows Teilhet through a pit bull rescue group, said she was shocked when she heard about her death on Facebook.

“None of us could believe it,” she said. “It was awful.”

Five people who were hiking with a local group were also injured at the park on Friday, but transported themselves to the hospital.

About 26 hours later, lightning struck the park a second time on Saturday killing an unidentified man and injuring three others.

Teilhet and the male victim mark the most recent lightning-related deaths at Rocky Mountain National Park. In 2000, a technical climber was struck on the Diamond on Longs Peak, according to information released by the park.

There have been nine lightning-related fatalities this year, including four in Florida, according to the National Weather Service. These figures do not include last week’s fatalities at the park.

The U.S. has averaged 51 reported lightning-related fatalities per year over a 30 year period starting in 1984, according to the National Weather Service. About 10 percent of people struck by lightning are killed.

The odds of a person being struck by lightning during his or her lifetime is 1 in 12,000, according to the National Weather Service.

A nine-year old Dayton boy, Hunter Wilson, survived a lightning strike last week when he was hit while climbing on a kitchen counter in his home.

“If you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning,” said News Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs.

Williams said the Teilhets are foster parents with Miami Valley Pit, Inc. a non-profit pit bull rescue organization.

Teilhet had taken in three dogs since she became a foster parent with the organization in March, according to Williams.

The other foster parents lauded Williams for taking in Biloxi – a pit bull with severe case of demodectic mange.

“It’s amazing when somebody takes in a case like Biloxi,” Williams said. “Even though you respect anybody who takes in a foster, you respect the ones who take in the really hard cases a little bit more.”

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By Sharahn D. Boykin - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

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