Two backpackers were struck by lighting near Yellowstone National Park on Tuesday, August 2nd, killing one and severely injuring the other. Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR) was notified around 6:30 p.m. about the incident, in which the two men, who were a part of a group of 14, were hit at their camp at Enos Lake in Wyoming. TCSAR requested helicopter assistance from Teton Helitack, and three search and rescue volunteers were flown to the site.
CPR had been conducted for more than an hour when SAR, but the 22-year-old male was unable to be revived. The injured patient was first removed from the wilderness alongside a single search and rescue volunteer, bringing him to an ambulance in Moran. The deceased individual was then flown to the Jackson Hole Airport where the Teton County Coroner was waiting.
Nightfall required two search and rescue volunteers to stay with the rest of the group, and in the morning of August 3rd, two more hikers were removed via helicopter along side the two volunteers due to concerns surrounding whether or not they would be able to make the 12-mile hike out.
“TCSAR recognizes the tragedy of this rare event, and extends its sincere condolences to the deceased man’s family and friends and everyone involved in the incident. The team also appreciates the partnership with Teton Helitack and support from Grand Teton National Park that facilitated the use of the interagency helicopter.” – Teton County Search and Rescue
According to the New York Post, there have been nine deaths caused by lightning in 2022. Since 2006, lightning has caused 23 camping-related fatalities. Camping ranks third among activities that contribute to the most lightning related fatalities, with beach activities ranking second and fishing ranking first.
Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of the deceased backpacker, and we wish the injured individual a speedy recovery.