Lightning Kills Hiker Days After Her Wedding
Tragedy occurred on Friday when lightning killed one hiker and injured three others on Mount Yale.
The hiker that was killed, 31-year-old Kathleen Bartlett, and one of the injured hikers, 32-year-old Ryan Pocius, were on their honeymoon. The Denver couple got married on July 11 at the Botanic Gardens.
Lightning struck the four hikers at approximately 12,400 feet, just after 1 p.m.
Authorities say that Kathleen Bartlett was killed instantly and Ryan Pocius was severely injured.
The two other hikers injured by the lightning lost consciousness for a few minutes. When they awoke, they were able to hike to an area where they could get help. There was no cell phone service where the lightning struck.
The 911 call was placed at just after 2 p.m., but emergency crews were unable to get to the victims of the lightning strike until between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Their evacuation helicopter was delayed even longer due to weather.
No identification has been released for the two hikers that only suffered minor injuries from the lightning strike. They were from Colorado Springs and were able to “self-evacuate” according to a quote from undersheriff Derek Bos in the Gazette.
When Pocius was finally airlifted by a Flight for Life helicopter, he was brought to Colorado Springs hospital. According to the Chaffee County Times, they don’t know what permanent damage the lightning strike might have done to him, and he was in critical but stable condition.
On their wedding site, before the tragic incident, the two most harmed lightning victims wrote about their love story.
“One rainy afternoon, Ryan walked into the bar where I was working part-time as a cocktail waitress. He ordered a scotch, with ice on the side. I immediately started to give him a hard time, because I knew he planned to dump the ice in the scotch, and therefore was only ‘dirtying more dishes for me’. Regardless, I brought him the drink with ice on the side. (And needless to say, he smiled and dumped it right in) … We proceeded to talk and laugh the entire time he and his friends were there. In fact, they were the only people in the entire bar. He asked for my number before he left, so we might ‘watch a movie or grab some coffee sometime.’ Turns out, we ended up having more things in common than we first thought, including a shared appreciation for kids’ movies, yoga, sarcasm and love for the outdoors. It became apparent very quickly that we had both found “our person”. Six months after we started dating seriously, we found ourselves engaged and the rest is history!”
[Images courtesy of The Knot and Ethan Miller/Getty Images ]