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Lightning responsible for a deadly weekend

Lightning responsible for deadly weekend

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A breathtaking view...literally.

"We didn't see the bolt, it was just a white flash," said Mary Iverson.

"It felt like something hit me in the head and I lost my vision and hearing for a solid 10 seconds," Daniel Walenter said.

Iverson and Walenter were standing close to 52-year-old Gregory Caldwell on Rainbow Curve, an overlook in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Caldwell, who was in a wheelchair, was struck by a bolt of lightning and killed.

"Could have been any one of us so I'm feeling pretty lucky," Walenter said.

Caldwell was the second death over the weekend in the park.  Rebecca R. Teilhet, 42, from Yellow Springs, Ohio, was killed on Friday.

According to the National Weather Service, on average about three people die from lightning every year in Colorado.  Since 1980, El Paso County is the most dangerous place for lightning...with 10 fatalities and 76 injuries.

Most lightning deaths and injuries in Colorado occur during the afternoon and evening.  July is typically the deadliest month.

Lightning can strike more than 10 miles from the rain area of a thunderstorm.  That distance is about as far as you can hear thunder.  If you can hear thunder...you could be in danger of being struck by lightning.

Even being inside doesn't completely protect you from lightning.  You should stay away from talking on a land-line telephone and stay away from the shower and sink since wires and plumbing pipes can conduct electricity.

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